Kelly Bryant on leading Clemson to ACC title game
It has been a difficult senior year for Clemson cornerback Marcus Edmond.
The Lower Richland standout was listed as a starter entering the season, but injuries during preseason camp had him behind heading into Week 1. Still, Edmond was expected to be a key contributor for the Tigers before injuring his foot in the first quarter of Clemson’s second game against Auburn. He has not appeared in a game since and has played only 14 snaps all year, without recording a stat.
Edmond’s mom, Arnett Edmond, was anxious to travel around to different venues throughout the ACC as she watched her son play his final year of college football. But Marcus has not traveled for a road game yet as he has rehabbed his foot in Clemson instead.
Still, Arnett, her husband Allen and her daughter Ashley have been to every Clemson game, cheering on the Tigers and their second family.
“We just love Clemson, whether Marcus is playing or not we have so many players on the team that have became part of our family,” Arnett said. “Ryan Carter, D.J. Greenlee, Jalen Williams and some others, those players are just like extended family to us. So we still go and support the boys, even though Marcus is not playing.”
Carter, Greenlee and Williams, as well as several of Marcus’ other friends on the team, have grown accustomed to seeing Arnett and the rest of the Edmond family at the Tiger Walk during pregame.
“Just being friends with Marcus and being at all the games, we kind of got connected to the players,” Arnett said. “They see us at the games, and they’re always looking for us… They know where we are and we get our hugs and kisses.”
Clemson players aren’t the only ones looking for the Edmond family during the Tiger Walk.
Tigers coach Dabo Swinney has also made it part of his pregame ritual to search for the Edmonds as he is getting off the bus.
“I see his mom and dad with their number 29 jerseys on standing there with all the families as the buses come in. That is awesome,” Swinney said. “I got a chance to talk to them at Syracuse, and I told them, ‘Y’all are the MVPs here.’ They were like, ‘We’re not missing the game.’ I just think that’s special to see how much joy that his parents have had through their son’s experience, and the friendships that they’ve developed.”
The Edmond family has enjoyed cheering for the Tigers, even without Marcus in the lineup, but Arnett can’t wait for her son to return to the field soon.
Marcus was close to returning last weekend against Florida State and is expected to receive playing time on Senior Day Saturday against The Citadel.
“It’s been a long, long season without playing. I’m just ready to be back out there,” Marcus said. “I’ve been practicing the last couple weeks trying to get back right, trying to get back in the rhythm, knock some of the rust off so I’m very happy to go back out there Saturday.”
Marcus made several big plays for Clemson last season during the Tigers’ run to the national title, making the game-clinching tackle against Louisville in the final seconds in Week 5 and intercepting a pass in overtime two weeks later against N.C. State to seal Clemson’s win.
Tigers defensive coordinator Brent Venables has no doubt Marcus will be able to help his unit down the stretch.
“I hate it for Marcus. He had such an incredible, impactful year a year ago and we certainly wouldn’t have been in the national championship without him,” Venables said. “To see him have the kind of struggles that he has this year have been painful to watch but I’m happy that it looks like he’s going to be able to contribute in some capacity and finish strong.”