Monday, May 4, 2009

New Dolphin - Chris Clemons, FS

I make no bones about the fact that I thought Clemons was the only 'solid' pick on the second day of the draft for Miami. While I think both he and Andrew Gardner presented good value where they were chosen, Clemons is probably the only one who is a near-guarantee to make the roster (yes, that includes Turner and Hartline).

Clemons came into Clemson as a cornerback so he has cover skills, and his hit-first, ask questions later style of football is something we've been sorely missing at the free-safety spot. Last year you could see the gears turning in Renaldo Hill's helmet. With the addition of Gibril Wilson, and Vontae Davis we brought in a more physical starting secondary, but do not be surprised to hear this guy's name called a lot during 2009 as he likely comes off the bench behind Wilson and could spell Bell as well.

He amassed 270+ tackles as a 3 year starter alongside another Clemson safety you may have heard of (Hamlin), but he knew from a very young age he wanted to be an NFL player.

The thought takes his mother, Lillie Gulledge, back to when Clemons was a 4-year-old. She scolded him one night when she found him sleeping with a dirty football in his bed.

Clemons told her he wanted to be a football player one day, and she flippantly responded he didn’t know a thing about football. After making him put away the football, she discovered in the morning he had retrieved it during the night.

“I wish now that I had kept that ball, because his childhood dream has come true,” Gulledge said."

(click here for the rest of Clemon's background story, and to better understand why he will make sure he makes the roster)

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