CLEMSON FOOTBALL

Tyler Venables on not following dad to Oklahoma: 'Why would I ever want to leave?'

Tyler Venables on not following dad to Oklahoma: 'Why would I ever want to leave?'


by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Tyler Venables briefly considered going with his dad Brent to the University of Oklahoma, but once he realized how much he loves Clemson, there was no way he was going to Norman.

Brent Venables took over as the head coach of the Sooners last December, and many wondered if his two sons – linebacker Jake and safety Tyler – would want to continue to play for their dad and leave. Jake battled injuries and decided to retire from playing, but Tyler knew he still had two seasons to play, and he loved playing for Brent.

In the end, Clemson won out.

“I thought about it for a little bit in December, thought that was what I wanted to do briefly,” Venables said after Tuesday’s practice. “And then I just kind of realized that I like simplicity. A lot. Simple, it's easy. Clemson is an amazing place. So, I was like, why would I ever want to leave something like this? Even though it's amazing to play for him for two years. It's a great experience. Not many people get to do that, get to play for their father on the Division I stage. But I had a great two years with him, and this is my place to stay.

“I had talked to Coach Swinney and he was like, what are you going to do? And I'm like, I guess I'm going to stay. And so I kind of told him that, but I didn't really mean it. And then I just kind of paused for a while. It took a couple of days. And all these people here, the staff and the whole program itself is just built on being for the players and there was no desire for me to leave this at all.”

Venables enters the 2022 season after being credited with 61 tackles (4.5 for loss), a sack, an interception and six pass breakups in 476 snaps over 24 games (two starts) in his first two seasons at Clemson. During the 2021 season, he was credited with 33 tackles (1.5 for loss), three pass breakups, one sack and one interception over 262 snaps in 12 games (two starts).

This season, instead of playing for Brent, he’s playing for new defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin.

“I never thought that I would ever - after I committed to Clemson - I never thought I'd play for anybody else. I was like, I guess I'm playing for my dad,” Venables said. “And this ended up turning out like it did. And it's been awesome, actually, just to watch Coach Wes take command, get to really understand his brain and his thinking, and he's actually really smart. Dude, it's been cool.”

Once he made his decision, he had to tell his dad.

“He was definitely not pressuring me in any way,” Venables said. “He was just listening to what I had to say, what he thought, what I thought, and I kind of explained it to him. I like simplicity. He agreed there's no need to complicate your life at this age.”

There is one bright side – he gets to finally be a normal college student with his family in another state.

“A little bit. Yeah. We FaceTime a lot as a family,” Venables said. “He was actually just talking to me last night. With both of our schedules the way it is, it's pretty hard to do that and have the energy to do so, especially with his role now. But he always tries to find a way to make time.”

Venables tore his pectoral muscle during Clemson’s Pro Day (he was lifting weights) and had to have surgery. The surgical site then became infected and he had to have a second surgery. Now he’s fully cleared to play, although he has to wear a should harness on his left shoulder.

“I was really scared tackling people at first, but now I’ve had my fair share collisions already and it’s all been good,” he said.

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