90i #55: Jarrod Clements July 9, 2013
Before we get to Clements, a couple quick things. First, sorry the site has had issues the past two days. I’m in this crazy pattern of contacting the hosting company I use and then watching the site repair itself so they can write me back with the standard “we were unable to replicate the issue” email. I’d smear their name here, but who cares? I’m switching away from them at the end of the month, so the issues will all be over soon.
Secondly, I had planned to write two posts tonight – a 90i post and something else – but when I sat down to write this 90i post, I thought of a specific defensive formation I saw this spring that is perfect for Clements, but I wanted to make sure we showed that formation in the spring game before I wrote about it (we didn’t, so I won’t). My biggest fear on the planet is that I would write something here that could be used against us by an opposing coach (like Fitzee, who I’m sure is an ALE reader because any time someone says a negative word about him I’m certain his ego tingles).
So in checking to see if that formation was already on film, well, I got wrapped up in watching the spring game again (offense!!). Which means the hours I had to blog tonight was reduced to 30 minutes, simply because I was caught up in the NINE TOUCHDOWNS we scored in the spring game. Spring game participant who looked better than I remembered him looking: Simon Cvijanovic.
OK, sorry, this is Clements’ post. But to recap, 1) I suck because I can’t get the site to work, and 2) I suck because I can’t not watch the spring game for the seventh time.
6′-3″, 275 lbs.
True Freshman (on scholarship, 5 years to play 4)
Trotwood-Madison High School / Dayton, Ohio
What I Know About Him:
I know that simply from some high school film and a few comments from national recruiting guys, I’ve built up his potential so far beyond what he’s capable of that it’s frankly quite embarrassing. All of those performances on film happened before he tore his ACL. Yes, it’s a standard surgery these days, but not everyone recovers 100%. Some players lose their burst, which is exactly what has me excited about Clements.
But that’s not stopping me from ranking him higher than most any other freshman. Because I truly think he can contribute this fall. If I recall correctly, his torn ACL was early June of 2012, so as of Rantoul he’ll have had a full 14 months to rehab. In fact, he returned for a few of Trotwood-Madison’s high school playoff games in November. So as far as him being recovered from the injury, I’m sure he’s all the way back. Is he the same player? I hope so.
Actually, I’ll go as far as saying that his knee injury might have kept him as an Illinois verbal. He went to a Nike camp in the late spring/early summer and stood out to most scouts there. But it was at that camp that he tore his ACL, which, I think, kept the big boys from getting involved. Had they, I’d guess he would have flipped just like his high school teammate Reon Dawson did (Michigan offered after the season and he flipped).
What I Expect From Him:
I need to say this first: he’s not Corey Liuget. We won’t have another Corey Liuget for 20 years. Corey Liuget was on a lot of “should have made the Pro Bowl” lists this year – he was an incredible force as a defensive tackle who could rush the passer and generally cause a big mess in the offensive backfield.
Now that I have that out of the way: I think Clements can be similar. A poor man’s Corey Liuget, if you will. There’s a chance he starts at defensive end, although I like him as a 3-technique defensive tackle (like Liuget). He just has such a great balanced low burst off the ball on film that it leaves me dreaming of Liuget’s game at Penn State in 2010.
Which means I guess I’ve failed at the whole “I’m not trying to put expectations too high” thing. Like all freshmen linemen, Clements probably needs two years of weight room work before he’s ready. With the injury, especially so. But we’re thin on the defensive line, so I’m guessing we’ll see him sooner rather than later.