For the fourth time since claiming its second national championship in three years, Clemson has lost a key contributor to the NFL.
Thursday night, Clelin Ferrell confirmed in a statement that, as expected, he has decided to leave his remaining eligibility with the Tigers on the table and make himself available for the April draft. The defensive end is the second lineman on that side of the ball to leave early this month, joining teammate and defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence in early departing Death Valley.
Below is Ferrell’s statement, in its entirety:
Dear Clemson Family,
For those who know me, understand how hard it is for me to write a letter like this because it means the coming to an end of a truly life-changing experience to be at my second home the last 3-and-a-half years. My love for this team, program and school is everlasting and the memories it has given me will forever hold a special place in my heart.
It all started with Coach Venables and my former coach, Marion Hobby. They’re the reason I came to Clemson, and every day I stepped on the field I wanted to prove myself to them because I know they expected great things from me. Coach Swinney, he is the reason I say Clemson is where I “needed” to be and not where I “wanted” to be. The love he has for his players is unmatched and he taught me about having a vision for my life and where to build my foundation, which is in Christ, and that’s why he is so important to my success. Also Coach Bates and Coach Ski, y’all gave me some of my best memories at Clemson, I’ve told you both the love I’ve got for y’all and I know y’all have got my back through anything.
To my mother and family, you have been my backbone throughout my life and I’ve only wanted to make you proud. You have given me everything I needed to be successful even when you couldn’t get it for yourself and I will continue to be my best for you.
And to the Clemson Family, you all are the best fans in the world and you are the reason why this decision is so hard, because the people here are what make it so special. I am blessed to have been a part of this family. Lastly, to my teammates —to my brothers — I can honestly say my love for y’all is deeper than football and I will always cherish the time we have and will continue to spend together, as my kids will call y’all “Uncle” one day.
With that being said, I am excited to announce that I will be declaring for the NFL Draft this year and will continue to chase my dream of being the best me I can be. #DreamWithMeBaby #MissileOut
Coming off a 2017 season in which he was a consensus second-team All-American, Ferrell earned consensus first-team All-American in 2018. He was also named as the winner of the 2018 Ted Hendricks Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive end.
In addition to Ferrell and Lawrence, a pair of Tiger teammates, cornerback Trayvon Mullen and linebacker Tre Lamar, have also declared for the draft.