PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s not much tape of Corey Clement catching the ball out of backfield at Wisconsin, like there’s not much of it of Clement swinging out on screens at Glassboro High School—and that’s because it’s just something he didn’t have to do.
Clement has always been a star. From youth league, to Glassboro, to Wisconsin, he has been the focal point of every offense he ever played in.
The 5-foot-10, 215-pound tailback went undrafted and one of the knocks against him was his inability to catch the football.
The accusation makes Clement laugh. Actually, it would have made anyone laugh by the way Clement snared almost every pass thrown his way, and those passes that weren’t in his vicinity he still managed to haul in during the first day of Eagles’ training camp Monday morning, held for rookies and selected veterans.
Clement is trying to live out a dream and make his area’s NFL team. He caught 12 passes as a Badger last year and a total of 29 in his four years at the Big Ten school.
Perhaps one of the reasons why Clement’s receiving numbers were never staggering might be as simple as he never had to catch the ball. At Glassboro, he was a fine blend of power and speed, a workhorse tailback. At Wisconsin, it was more of the same.
“It’s the funniest thing when people question my ability to catch the football,” said Clement, smiling while shaking his head after the first day of training camp concluded. “I laugh at it every time. It’s just like my pass blocking. I don’t really get a chance to do much of it, so is how is anyone going to judge me from what they don’t see? At Glassboro they ha need me the ball; at Wisconsin they handed me the ball. Maybe I saw a screen here or there.
“I don’t recollect getting a screen in high school. In my spare time, I run wide receiver routes and try to perfect the things that I lack, which is catching the ball. I just want to say to throw me the ball, and I can show you that I can catch it. Let’s go from there. I think I can do it. I know I can produce, just throw me the ball.”
That’s been the hard part for Clement, because there’s no history of him showing that he can catch.
“I understand what they’re talking about,” Clement said. “Now I’m in a new position and I’m able to showcase show what I can do. I’m in basically a spread offense, so getting my chance to catch the ball is definitely an awesome feeling.”
Clement is down to 215 and he wanted to show the coaching staff here that he is serious about making this team. Also, Clement was given a little nudge about some added muscle he was carrying.
“I want to look more like a running back, because when I go up to people, they ask me if I play linebacker,” Clement said, laughing. “That’s when I had to lose the weight. In high school, I felt like a feather and I want to get back down to that weight. In high school, I played both ways. I played defensive end. I was a go-getter.
“If I don’t get it within the running back group, maybe I get it on special teams. I think I can get more production from myself if I’m lighter. I talk to (special teams coordinator Dave) Fipp every day about special teams. I’m a diehard football player who wants to make (this team) in any way.”