Clemson commit on big interception: "Opportunity knocked and I answered"


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Darnell Jefferies says he is All In
Darnell Jefferies says he is All In

Darnell Jefferies lived the dream of every defensive lineman last Friday, returning an interception for a touchdown.

The 2018 Clemson commit out of Covington (GA) Newton read a screen pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown in Friday’s 37-0 win over Shiloh. It’s all part of the resume for Jefferies, who has played multiple positions this season.

“It’s all in a day's work,” Jefferies told TigerNet. “This season, I’ve played defensive tackle, defensive end, middle linebacker, tight end and backup punter. It was good to get a touchdown to top it all off. “

Jefferies said he knew from film study that a screen was on the way.

“Yes, immediately,” he said. “It was 3rd-and-15, and I almost always expect a screen or a deep pass on third-and-long, so I sat back and played the role of a rusher, but I was just waiting. Opportunity knocked and I answered.”

The quarterback tried to tackle Jefferies – to no avail. The tackle attempt came as a bit of a surprise.

“I was surprised,” Jefferies said. “Bad business decision on his part, but I totally respect him for the effort.”

The day after the big interception, Jefferies made his way to Clemson’s campus for the 24-10 victory over Georgia Tech. He helped play host to 5-star offensive lineman Cade Mays and 5-star defensive end K.J. Henry.

“It was not just rain, but it was a monsoon,” Jefferies said. “But it didn't matter because it always great to be in Death Valley. Always feels like going home. I think they (the other recruits) had a great time. They really fit well with all of us and they seem to be enjoying themselves a lot, especially at the photo shoot and in the game room!”

Current Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins has caught passes on offense, lined up in the backfield and been a force on special teams, and Jefferies says he would love to have the same role when he arrives on campus.

“I just want to win and whatever I can do to help us get the W, I'm all in for that,” he said. “Christian is such a force, I mean he is a boss. I hope to be able to have as much success as he has and handle it with the same swag and Good nature. He is so funny! I have so much respect for all of them – Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence, Austin Bryant and the entire defense. They have set the bar really high and I know WeTooDeep18 does not plan to disappoint ourselves or the Clemson Nation.”

Jefferies says he thinks Clemson’s 2018 class is already great but will get even better.

“I think our class is great. We have quite a few top ten in the nation players, even more top 50 in the nation,” Jefferies said. “I believe we are close to the top overall and number two or three in the ACC. More than that, I have spent some time with these players, two of them I played with since middle school (Trevor Lawrence and Justin Mascoll). We all value winning a lot and hate to lose, and will put the countless hours of work in to make sure we win. I feel great about our class, I really do.”

Not only does he think his recruiting class will finish strong, he thinks Clemson’s team will finish strong this season.

“Clemson will finish strong. Period,” he said. “They will make the playoffs. I believe they will win the ACC Championship and make their third appearance in the Natty. I am All In.”

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