Three years into his Clemson career Marcus Edmond was playing scout team receiver and occasionally appearing in mop-up duty on defense. Still, the former Lower Richland star believed he had a bright future with the Tigers.
Edmond’s positive attitude and commitment to Clemson are a big reason why the Tigers are undefeated at 7-0 entering next Saturday’s showdown with Florida State.
The redshirt junior has made two of the biggest plays of the season with a game-saving tackle in the final minute against Louisville and an interception last weekend in overtime against N.C. State.
“The biggest plays in the biggest games, he’s come up with both of them,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “That’s what it’s all about. Guys, if they work they’re going to improve. If they hang in there eventually they’ll have some success. I think he’s a great example to his teammates.”
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Edmond arrived at Clemson as a lightly-recruited three-star prospect whose offers were from Arizona, Wake Forest, Clemson and N.C. State.
He had an impressive high school career on both sides of the football, accounting for 2,000 total yards and 24 touchdowns as a quarterback and intercepting four passes as a defensive back during his senior season at Lower Richland.
“He’s one of the best athletes that I’ve had the opportunity to coach,” former Lower Richland coach Darryl Page said. “I had the chance to coach Lawrence Timmons, who plays for the Steelers. I had the chance to coach Justin Durant that plays with the Dallas Cowboys and Darian Durant, who is a quarterback in the CFL. He was in that realm as far as being an athlete.”
Edmond originally committed to N.C. State defensive backs coach Mike Reed, but when Reed left for Clemson, Edmond went with him.
In a class that included Mackensie Alexander, Shaq Lawson, Ben Boulware, Mike Williams, Wayne Gallman and other highly sought-after prospects, Edmond was overlooked. But Swinney believed he was a guy that could help Clemson down the road.
“We knew he could run. We really liked him. We felt like he fit our culture and thought he had good potential. He was a potential guy,” Swinney said. “You’ve got to put the work in. … He just continued to improve and get better.”
Edmond made strides this spring and was penciled in as a starter at cornerback entering fall camp before a hamstring injury sidelined him for a few weeks.
When he got cleared days before the season, he went back to work in an effort to earn playing time and is making his opportunities count.
“For me it just came down to having patience,” he said. “Anybody else in my position, maybe would have transferred or something like that, but I just had patience and stuck with it.”
Edmond has played in six games in 2016 with three starts. He has 11 tackles, two pass breakups, an interception and a couple of the biggest plays of Clemson’s season.
“Marcus has ice in his veins,” Tigers defensive coordinator Brent Venables said. “He never changes his facial expressions. He’s the same guy every day. He never panics. When the ball’s in the air or when he’s faced some adversity in his career here all he’s done is keep working. I think that’s a great lesson for all of us, players and coaches both.”