Clemmons excited about bowl opportunity
Published 6:33 pm Sunday, December 28, 2008
By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
Jamaine Clemmons isn’t certain if this will be the last time he’ll be dressed in an N.C. State Wolfpack uniform.
If it is, the 5-11, 255-pound senior defensive end couldn’t be much happier. The former standout at Williamston High School will join his Wolfpack teammates for Monday’s PapaJohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., where State will take on Rutgers.
Clemmons, who earned three varsity letters on the offensive and defensive lines with the Williamston Tigers, has another year of eligibility remaining. He said he plans to sit down with his coaches and discuss his options once the season is over.
Clemmons, who needs 18 more credit hours to earn his mechanical engineering degree, regards the bowl selection as a nice little Christmas present. After a 2-6 start, the Wolfpack won its final four games to become bowl eligible.
Clemmons, a former walk-on who earned a scholarship, saw his team struggle out of the gates. However, the Wolfpack got hot at the right time.
Four of State’s six wins came against the other “big schools” in state — East Carolina, Wake Forest, Duke and North Carolina.
Clemmons said the highlight was knocking off ECU and UNC.
The Pack (6-6) will look to continue to ride its hot streak into Monday’s game against Rutgers (7-5), a team that has won six straight. The bowl game, which will kick off at 3 p.m., will be televised by ESPN.
It will be the first time the two teams have met.
Clemmons is hoping the Wolfpack wins its first bowl game since 2005, a 14-0 victory over USF in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. He doesn’t care if he records a sack or tackle. All that matters to Clemmons is a victory.
Clemmons is proud of his team for reaching the bowl game, and overcoming adversity to get there.