Philadelphia Eagles: Glassboro’s Corey Clement continues to shine in hopes of making roster

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 02: Corey Clement
ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 02: Corey Clement /
ARLINGTON, TX – JANUARY 02: Corey Clement
ARLINGTON, TX – JANUARY 02: Corey Clement /

Philadelphia Eagles rookie running back Corey Clement continued to add to his resume, rushing for a score in Thursday’s preseason game vs. the Buffalo Bills.

Most teams in the National Football League will carry at most four running backs on their 53-man roster. The Philadelphia Eagles have a tough situation over the next few weeks regarding their tailbacks.

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Offseason acquisition LeGarrette Blount will get the most carries this season, with speedy backup Darren Sproles and 2017 draftee Donell Pumphrey also expected to get time as well.

Doug Pederson has two tailbacks fighting for the final spot, and it will be a tough decision for the Eagles head coach to make the right choice. Second-year man Wendell Smallwood rushed for 312 yards and one touchdown in his rookie season a year ago.

However, the former West Virginia man has been limited this preseason due to injuries giving undrafted rookie free-agent Corey Clement time to shine in his absence.

Clement, totaled 3,092 yards in four seasons at the University of Wisconsin. After starting quickly during his freshman season with 597 yards as a back-up in 2013, Clement rushed for 949 yards and nine scores during his sophomore season.

An injury-plagued junior year saw Clement only play four games, before exploding for a career best 1,375 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2016. Clement led the Eagles in rushing on Thursday night with 34 yards on eight carries. That included a six-yard powerful TD run and a 24-yard run out of a three-tight-end set.

Making His Mark

Following the game, Clement told that he is just trying to take advantage of his chances. Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley “told me he was going to put me in early this week,’’ Clement said. “I just wanted to take advantage of my opportunities. Stay calm and collected and make sure I hear every call and protect the quarterback.’’

Clement, a Glassboro graduate, has shown the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, despite not catching much at Wisconsin. The 5-10, 220 lb. bruiser caught 29 passes in 39 career college games and was not asked to do much pass protection either.

“I don’t want to be a one-dimensional player. In order to stay on the field on third down, I’ve got to be able to catch the ball out of the backfield. Being able to show my hands in all of those OTAs in the spring and now, this summer has shown them that they can trust me to catch the ball.’’

Clement, who grew up an Eagles fan in South Jersey, was thrilled to score his very first touchdown at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday night.

“I’ve always dreamed of playing in this stadium and getting a chance to get in the end zone,’’ he said. “All those years of driving over the Walt Whitman and seeing Lincoln Financial from a distance, it was a dream come true.’’

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If Clement can continue to prove himself over the next two weeks, he will make this team. As Smallwood continues to be out, this just adds more recognition to the 22-year-old continuing to chase his dream.