2015 NFL DRAFT
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Chris Clemons

| | College: Clemson
 
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Overview

Clemons teamed with Michael Hamlin to give the Tigers one of the premier safety tandems in college football. With those two manning the interior of the secondary, the defense finished in the top 25 in three major categories (pass defense, scoring defense, total defense) in each of the last three years, as he has had a lot to do with that and was the big reason the Tigers did not give up many big plays.

Clemons started each of the last 39 games and played in 51 total, tying classmates Aaron Kelly and Akeem Robinson as the school record holders for career games. He made at least one tackle in all 51 games, becoming the only Tiger in history to do so. His 323 tackles and 2,408 plays participated in rank fifth among defensive backs in school history.

Clemons was a two-way star at DeSoto High School, where he was rated the 23rd-best cornerback in the nation by Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report. He also ranked fifth among running backs on the Florida Times Union's Super Top-75 squad. He was named to the All-Dixie team by Super Prep, as the team Offensive MVP was chosen DeSoto County Offensive Player of the Year by the Port Charlotte Sun. He added offensive MVP honors in the South-Central All-Star game and was a first-team All-Area running back on the Sarasota Herald Tribune's team.

The two-way athlete rushed for 1,242 yards on 193 carries (6.4 avg) and scored 11 times on the ground as a senior, adding 951 rushing yards on 100 carries with eight scores his junior campaign. He also had five interceptions, including two for touchdowns in his final campaign. He averaged more than 16 points and 10 rebounds for the basketball team and also excelled in track.

Clemons was clocked at 10.52 seconds in the 100-meters, the fourth-best time in the state and won the AAA regional title in that event, in addition to being a state qualifier in the 100m and 200m. The two-time team MVP was also the district champion in the 100m and 200m as a senior.

In 2004, Clemons chose Clemson over Michigan State, Pittsburgh and South Carolina. He redshirted during his first season with the Tigers and logged action in 163 plays in 2005, as the reserve free safety posted 33 tackles (19 solos) in 12 games. He took over free safety chores in 2006, going on to start his final 39 games. He ranked second on the team with 102 tackles (61 solos), adding an interception, eight pass deflections and a forced fumble through 13 contests.

Clemons finished third on the team with 94 tackles (61 solos) as a junior. He picked off a pair of passes, knocked down five others and made two stops behind the line of scrimmage while participating in a career-high 821 snaps. Clemons was named to the All-American Strength Team in 2008, as he collected 94 tackles (62 solos), including three stops for loss. He deflected seven passes and picked off two others, returning one 32 yards for a touchdown.

Analysis

Positives: Lanky build with room for additional growth. … Has at least adequate pure game speed to be the last line of defense. … Takes good angles in pursuit. … Reads the quarterback and gets a jump on the ball. … Flashes a late burst to close. … Good open-field tackler. … Has the lateral quickness and balance to break down in space and wraps up. … Agile enough to slip blocks and make tackles near the line of scrimmage. … Durable. … Has never missed a game due to injury at Clemson.

Negatives: Lacks the bulk many teams prefer at safety. … A reliable open-field tackler, but lacks the explosiveness to be an enforcer in the middle. … Isn't a natural playmaker. … Loses sight of the ball and doesn't have natural hands for the interception. … Surrounded by legitimate NFL talent and has been allowed to freelance as a centerfielder.

Career Notes

Clemons joined present teammates Aaron Kelly and Akeem Robinson as the school record holders for career games played (51) … Started his final 39 contests at free safety … His 323 tackles (203 solos) and 2,408 snaps participated in rank fifth among defensive backs in school history … Made six stops for losses of 27 yards and caused one fumble … Batted away 20 passes and intercepted five others for 102 yards in returns, including one touchdown.

2008 Season

All-American Strength Team first-team choice … Started all thirteen games at free safety, despite missing most of the Kentucky contest with a knee sprain … Participated in 699 plays, recording 94 tackles (62 solos) with three stops for losses totaling 20 yards … Had seven pass deflections and two interceptions for 43 yards and a touchdown … Helped the Tigers rank third in the Atlantic Coast Conference and tied for 12th nationally in pass defense (172.54 ypg), place 10th in the country with a 101.74 pass efficiency defense rating, finish 18th in the country in total defense (299.92 ypg) and place 13th in the NCAA and second in the league in scoring defense (17.31 ppg).

2008 Game Analysis

Alabama … Clemons recorded 13 tackles (6 solos) in Clemson's disheartening 34-10 loss to the Crimson Tide in the Georgia Dome … During Alabama's first drive of the game, on 3rd-&-1 from the Tiger's 44-yard line, tailback Mark Ingram picked up 3 yards and a first down before Clemons could stop him. Later in the drive, on 3rd-&-15 from the Clemson 46-yard line, Clemons limited Alabama running back Glen Coffee to 9 yards on a pass reception from quarterback John Parker Wilson, forcing the Crimson Tide to settle for a 54-yard field goal … Near the end of the first quarter, Clemons stopped Coffee at the Clemson 1-yard line on a first-down rush that netted the tailback 5 yards … Early in the second quarter, on 3rd-&-3 from the Alabama 24-yard line, the Crimson Tide's Travis McCall hauled in an 8-yard pass from Wilson for a first down at the Alabama 32-yard line, where the tight end was tackled by Clemons … Early in the fourth quarter, Mark Ingram broke off a 28-yard run to the Alabama 44-yard line, where the halfback was stopped by Clemons.

Citadel … The Clemson defensive back posted four tackles (3 solos) and one pass break-up in the Tigers' 45-17 home victory over Citadel … Just before halftime, on 3rd-&-9 from the Clemson 31-yard line, Citadel quarterback Bart Blanchard completed a 9-yard pass to running back Asheton Jordon, who picked up the first down before being wrapped up by Clemons … The Clemson safety got his revenged early in the third quarter, when, on a 3rd-&-16 play from the Citadel 12-yard line, Clemons limited Jordan to 10 yards on a pass reception from Blanchard, forcing the Bulldogs to punt on fourth down … Near the end of the third stanza, Clemons broke up a pass from Blanchard to receiver Scott Flanagan.

North Carolina State … Clemons posted nine tackles (5 solos) in Clemson's 27-9 victory over North Carolina State … Early in the first quarter, on 3rd-&-8 from the N.C. State 22-yard line, Wolfpack quarterback Russell Wilson rushed for 9 yards and a first down before being tackled by Clemons … With under four minutes remaining in the first quarter, on 3rd-&-12 from the N.C. State 16-yard line, Wolfpack tailback Curtis Underwood picked up 15 yards and a first down on a rushing attempt before being stopped by the Clemson safety … At the start of the second half, on 3rd-&-5 from the N.C. State 29-yard line, the Wolfpack's Russell Wilson broke off a 30-yard rush to the Clemson 41-yard line, where the signal-caller was tackled by Clemons.

South Carolina State … Clemons intercepted a pass and returned it 32 yards for a touch-down and added three tackles in Clemson's 54-0 rout of South Carolina State … Midway through the first quarter, on 3rd-&-7 from the Clemson 40-yard line, S.C. State quarterback Malcolm Long completed a 13-yard pass to wide receiver Dusten Dubose, who picked up the first down before being stopped by Clemons … With 10:54 remaining in the second quarter, Bulldog tailback Travil Jamison was stopped for no gain by Clemons … During S.C. State's first drive of the second half, on 3rd-&-14 from the Bulldogs' 17-yard line, Malcolm Long had his pass picked off by Clemons, who returned the interception 32 yards for a touchdown and increased the Tigers' lead to 37-0.

Maryland … The Clemson safety had a relatively quiet performance vs. Maryland, posting four tackles (3 solos) in the Tigers' 20-17 loss to the Terps … Early in the first quarter, on 3rd-&-9 from the Maryland 33-yard line, Terp quarterback Chris Turner completed a 25-yard pass to Da'Rel Scott, who picked up a the first down before Clemons could stop the tailback … With 9:54 remaining in the third quarter, Clemons tackled Scott for a 2-yard loss at the Clemson 6-yard line on a 1st-&-goal play.

Wake Forest … Clemons recorded seven solo tackles, including one for loss, in the Tigers' 12-7 loss to No. 21 Wake Forest … At the 12:45 mark in the first quarter, Clemons was terrorized on back-to-back plays, yielding 19 yards to Wake Forest wide receiver D.J. Boldin on a rushing attempt around right end and giving up 23 yards to tailback Josh Adams on a draw play up the gut … Midway through the first stanza, on 3rd-&-5 from the Wake Forest 38-yard line, Demon Deacon quarterback Riley Skinner completed a 7-yard sideline pass to tight end Ben Wooster, who picked up the first down before Clemons could make the stop. Later in the drive, Clemons tackled D.J. Boldin for a 2-yard loss on a rush around right end, moving the Deacons back to the Clemson 5-yard line … Midway through the third quarter, on 3rd-&-4 from the Clemson 44-yard line, Riley Skinner completed a screen pass to Josh Adams, who picked up 8 yards and a first down before being tackled by the Clemson safety.

Georgia Tech … Clemons posted 10 tackles (3 solos) in the Tigers' 21-17 loss to Georgia Tech … During the second-half kickoff, Clemons tackled Georgia Tech's Jonathan Dwyer at the Yellow Jackets' 15-yard line, limiting the tailback to just a 13-yard return … At the 2:11 mark in the third quarter, Clemons limited Georgia Tech's Tony Clark to an 11-yard kickoff return to the Yellow Jackets' 23-yard line … With less than a minute remaining in the game, on 3rd-&-4 from the Clemson 42-yard line, Clemons stopped Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt for no gain on a rushing attempt, forcing the Jackets to punt the ball away.

Boston College … Clemons contributed five tackles (4 solos) and one pass break-up to the Tigers' 27-21 victory over Boston College … Early in the first quarter, on 3rd-&-2 from the Clemson 41-yard line, BC quarterback Chris Crane completed a 23-yard pass to wide receiver Brandon Robinson, who picked up the first down before being tackled by Clemons … Later in the quarter, Clemons broke up a third-down pass from Crane to wide receiver Rich Gunnell, forcing the Eagles to punt on fourth down.

Florida State … Clemson safety and game captain Chris Clemons posted five tackles (4 solos) and one pass-break up in the Tigers' 41-27 loss to No. 24 Florida State … Near the end of the first quarter, FSU tailback Jermaine Thomas broke off a 22-yard run to the Clemson 33-yard line, where he was wrapped up by Clemons … With 1:54 remaining in the first half, FSU wide receiver Louis Givens gained 27 yards on a reverse to the Clemson 1-yard line, where Clemons stopped him just short of the goal line … With less than a minute remaining before halftime, Clemons broke up a pass from FSU quarterback Christian Ponder to receiver Taiwan Easterling … Early in the third quarter, Clemons tackled FSU tailback Antone Smith at the Clemson 14-yard line for a 3-yard loss … Early in the fourth quarter, Ponder broke off a 21-yard run to midfield before being wrapped up by Clemons.

Duke … Clemons finished with three tackles (1 solo), giving him 300 stops for his career, and one onside-kick recovery in Clemson's decisive 31-7 win over Duke … With 6:21 remaining in the game, Clemons recovered an onside kick by Duke kicker Joe Surgan, setting up the Tigers' offense at the Blue Devils' 43-yard line.

Virginia … Clemons had a quiet afternoon, making just one solo tackle in the Tigers' 13-3 road win over Virginia … On Virginia's first offensive series of the game, Clemons tackled tailback Cedric Peerman after a 2-yard rush to the Cavaliers' 44-yard line.

South Carolina … Clemons recorded eight tackles (6 solos) and one interception in the Tigers' 31-14 win over intrastate-rival South Carolina, the 50th career game of Clemons' career, tying him with three others for the most games played in Clemson history … With 9:09 remaining in the second quarter, Clemons intercepted South Carolina quarterback Chris Smelley at the Clemson 38-yard line, returning the pick 11 yards to midfield to set up Tiger quarterback Cullen Harper's long touchdown pass to wide receiver Jacoby Ford … Near the end of the second quarter, on 3rd-&-6 from the Clemson 29-yard line, Clemons tackled South Carolina's Jason Barnes after the wide receiver caught a 13-yard pass from Smelley for a first down … At the beginning of the second half, on 3rd-&-9 from the Tigers 47-yard line, Barnes hauled in a 20-yard pass from Smelley, picking up the first down before being leveled by Clemons … Midway through the fourth quarter, on 3rd-&-10 from the South Carolina 39-yard line, Clemons limited USC tailback Brian Maddox to 9 yards on a pass reception from Smelley, forcing the Gamecocks to go for it on fourth down.

Nebraska (Gator Bowl) … Playing in his 51st game as a Tiger, a new Clemson record that he set alongside teammates Akeem Robinson and Aaron Kelly, Clemons recorded a game-high 10 tackles (8 solos) in a 26-21 loss to Nebraska … During Nebraska's first offensive series of the game, on 3rd-&-13 from their own 17-yard line, Clemons limited tight end Mike McNeill to 7 yards on a pass reception from quarterback Joe Ganz, forcing the Huskers to punt on fourth down … Later in the quarter, on 3rd-&-10 from the Nebraska 42-yard line, Clemons limited tailback Marlon Lucky to a 1-yard gain on a pass reception from Ganz, forcing the Huskers to punt the ball away … Midway through the second quarter, on 3rd-&-2 from the Nebraska 34-yard line, Ganz completed a 6-yard pass to wide receiver Nate Swift, who picked up the first down before being tackled by Clemons … On the second play of the second half, Ganz connected with Todd Peterson for a 36-yard gain to the Clemson 16-yard line, where the wide receiver was stopped by Clemons … Early in the fourth quarter, on 3rd-&-13 from the Huskers' 33-yard line, Nebraska's Quentin Castille caught a 20-yard pass from Ganz for a first down at the Clemson 47-yard line, where the tailback was tackled by Clemons … Later in the quarter, Castille rushed for 6 yards before being stopped by Clemons at the Tigers' 3-yard line.

2007 Season

Clemons was on the field for a career-high 821 plays, as the thirteen-game free safety starter ranked third on the team with 94 tackles (61 solos) … Two of those stops came behind the line of scrimmage for losses totaling 6 yards … Intercepted two passes that he returned for a total of 49 yards and deflected five passes … Helped the Tigers rank ninth in the nation in total defense (306.77 ypg), lead the Atlantic Coast Conference while placing 13th in the country in pass defense (188.46 ypg) and pass efficiency defense (108.31 rating), as Clemson also finished tenth nationally and second in the ACC in scoring defense (18.69 ppg).

2007 Game Analysis

Clemons opened the season with four tackles vs. Florida State and had six hits (5 solos) in the Louisiana-Monroe clash … Posted seven tackles (5 solos), as he took down fullback Robert Felton behind the line of scrimmage, broke up a pass and intercepted another for an 18-yard return vs. Furman … Had a 31-yard interception return and five tackles vs. North Carolina State … Broke up two passes vs. Central Michigan and was in on ten tackles (6 solos) in the Maryland clash … Followed with seven hits (4 solos) and a pass deflection vs. Wake Forest and totaled fourteen tackles (12 solos) while knocking down a pass in the Boston College contest … Collected a season-high fifteen tackles (5 solos) vs. Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

2006 Season

Clemons ranked 12th in the Atlantic Coast Conference, as the first-year starter recorded a career-high 102 tackles (61 solos) on 725 snaps from the free safety position, starting all thirteen games … Had one stop behind the line of scrimmage, as he caused one fumble, deflected eight passes and intercepted another for a 10-yard return … Part of a strong effort by the Tigers, as they ranked 13th in the nation in total defense (280.77 ypg), 16th in scoring defense (16.15 ppg) and 24th in rushing defense (177.69 ypg).

2006 Game Analysis

Clemons posted 10 tackles (8 solos) vs. Boston College and had five hits with a pair of pass break-ups and his first career interception, returning the ball 10 yards in the North Carolina game … Registered twelve tackles (5 solos) on 57 plays vs. Wake Forest and was in on another twelve stops (8 solos), including one behind the line of scrimmage and a pass deflection vs. Maryland … Produced a career-high seventeen tackles vs. North Carolina State and registered twelve hits (9 solos) in the South Carolina clash … Added four stops (3 solos) vs. Kentucky in the Music City Bowl.

2005 Season

Clemons earned his first letter at Clemson, appearing in twelve games as a reserve free safety … Participated in 163 snaps, recording 33 tackles (19 solos) … Made four tackles in each of the Maryland, Miami, Temple and Florida State contests … Registered three hits in each of the Texas A&M, Georgia Tech and Duke games.

2004 Season

Red-shirted as a freshman.

Injury Report

2008: Left the Virginia game (11/22) after only four defensive plays due to a knee sprain and did not return for the rest of the contest.

Agility Tests

Combine: 4.33 in the 40-yard dash … 1.44 10-yard dash … 2.53 20-yard dash … 4.38 20-yard shuttle … 7.27 three-cone drill … 37.5-inch vertical jump … 10'7" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 19 times.

High School

Attended DeSoto (Arcadia, Fla.) High School, playing football for head coach Gary Morton … Rated the 23rd-best cornerback in the nation by Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report … Ranked fifth among running backs on the Florida Times Union's Super Top-75 squad … Named to the All-Dixie team by Super Prep, as the team Offensive MVP was chosen DeSoto County Offensive Player of the Year by the Port Charlotte Sun … Added offensive MVP honors in the South-Central All-Star game and was a first-team All-Area running back on the Sarasota Herald Tribune's team … The two-way athlete rushed for 1,242 yards on 193 carries (6.4 avg) and scored 11 times on the ground as a senior, adding 951 rushing yards on 100 carries with eight scores his junior campaign … Also had five interceptions, including two for touchdowns in his final campaign … Averaged more than 16 points and 10 rebounds for the basketball team and also excelled in track … Was clocked a 10.52 in the 100-meters, the fourth-best time in the state and won the AAA regional title in that event, in addition to being a state qualifier in the 100m and 200m … The two-time team MVP was also the district champion in the 100m and 200m as a senior.

Personal

Graduated in August, 2008 with a degree in Community Recreation Management … Born Christian Donavan Clemons on 9/15/85 … Resides in Arcadia, Florida.

 
Latest News
04/28/2009 - A closer look at the Dolphins' picks: Round 5/165 -- Chris Clemons, S, 6-0, 208, Clemson...Speed burner ran a 4.33 at the Combine but the three-year starter lacks technique and tackling skills. Destined for the practice squad.

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