Profile: Corey Clement
Life is good when you win the Super Bowl
By Dave Spadaro

 Glassboro’s Corey Clement just finished a dream-come-true football season, complete with a win in Super Bowl LII, and he’s finding that, yes, a hero’s welcome when you come home does exist. 

“It has been crazy,” Clement says. “To see how much impact the win made on so many people, it’s really incredible. People have been so gracious and thankful to me. It brings tears to my eyes.” 

Clement played a vital role in the victory, becoming the first rookie running back with 100 yards receiving and a touchdown in a Super Bowl, blocking well and dominating as a playmaker. Those 100 receiving yards marked the third-most by a running back in Super Bowl history and the fourth-most by any rookie in a Super Bowl, according to NFL research. 

And the most important play came in the third quarter on a third-and-6 snap from the New England 22-yard line. With the Eagles leading 22-19, Clement lined up to the left of quarterback Nick Foles and ran straight down the field, past linebacker Marquis Flowers. Foles threw a perfect pass that Clement, now with two Patriot defenders draped on him, caught. Clement somehow tap-tapped both feet in-bounds for the touchdown that was under review for some nervous moments. 

It was a spectacular play that raised Clement’s profile to a national level. 

“How many times do we come into the Super Bowl and say, ‘Who is it? Who’s the unknown?’” said NBC game analyst Cris Collinsworth during the broadcast. 

It’s Corey Clement. The kid from Glassboro. In a short period of time, Clement went from an undrafted player last April to a longshot to make the Eagles’ 53-man roster to a player who, week by week, became more and more involved in the offense for the best team in the NFL. 

It was an incredible ride for the rookie from Glassboro High School and then the University of Wisconsin. 

“I was a little kid watching the Phillies celebrate winning the World Series in 2008, so to then be part of it as a player for the Eagles winning the first Super Bowl, it’s been incredible,” Clement says. “Sometimes it’s hard to put into words what all of this means. I just know I’m taking it all in, I’m enjoying it and I’m preparing for next year.” 

“Above and beyond all of this, I’ve got a job to do next year and there are no guarantees. I have to work harder to improve my game. I have a lot of work to do.” 

Trusting that Clement puts in the time and takes the large step forward that many players who go from their first year in the NFL to their second season take, he figures to play a more prominent role in the Eagles’ offense in 2018. Clement had 74 carries for 321 yards and four touchdowns to go along with 10 receptions, 133 yards and two more touchdowns in the receiving game during the regular season. 

“Corey does it all,” says running backs coach Duce Staley. “Look at all the responsibility he has. He’s been one of our best special teams players. He knows all of our route combinations as a receiver, and he made some of the toughest catches I’ve ever seen this season. He is outstanding blocking in pass protection.” 

“Corey is the kind of kid who accepts anything you throw at him,” he adds. “He has a mature approach to the game. He works hard. He’s humble. And he’s obviously got a lot of talent. I think the future is very, very bright for Corey Clement.” 

Corey Clement, Jimmy Kimmel and Jay Ajayi

So is the present. Clement returned home from Minneapolis and reveled in the glory. Glassboro Public Schools closed in his honor. He went on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to discuss his critical role in the “Philly Special,” the extraordinary trick play the Eagles executed in the second quarter of the Super Bowl. 

Clement has made his share of public appearances signing autographs at sporting goods stores and automobile dealerships in the region, and the lines have been long, lively and appreciative. 

“It really has been a dream come true,” Clement says. “When you’re a kid you always dream of playing in the NFL, playing for your home team and winning the Super Bowl. I mean, I drove over the Walt Whitman Bridge how many times looking over at the Linc? And now that’s where I work, and we’re Super Bowl champs.” 

“It’s amazing.” 

This is a story just beginning. As difficult as it is to make it to the NFL, it’s even harder to stay. The Eagles are going to bring in competition for Clement. They’re going to search for “the next Corey Clement,” because that’s what teams do in this league. 

So Clement, when the spotlight isn’t shining and the adoration isn’t so ramped up, has to make himself a better football player. Standing still means going backward in the NFL. You’ve always got to become a better player, or you lose your job. 

Clement, then, is doing his best to balance it all. The sheen from the Super Bowl win has faded only slightly. The reality is that a new season is here and, with that, the daily challenge to accomplish more on the football field. 

“There will always be competition, and I think that is what makes me a better player,” Clement says. “I wasn’t drafted. I got here the hard way, and I know that there are no guarantees. I’m going to go to work every day with a smile on my face and work harder than everyone else. That approach will never change, no matter how much celebrating is going on around me.” 

A hero on the football field and a role model off, Clement is living a great life. He intends to make it better and better the longer he stays in the NFL and then returns to Glassboro as a reminder of where it all began.   

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