Family Feud: Clemson's Mullen looking forward to facing cousin Lamar Jackson


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Mullen says Lamar Jackson is one of the best players in the country
Mullen says Lamar Jackson is one of the best players in the country

CLEMSON – Trayvon Mullen will look across the field during pregame warmups Saturday and Louisville and spot his cousin, Cardinal quarterback Lamar Jackson. He will run over, spend a few minutes talking to Jackson about the game and life in general, and then it will be back to the business of trying to win a football game.

Mullen is Clemson’s sophomore cornerback who will be tasked with controlling the Louisville receivers long enough for the defensive line to get to Jackson, and Mullen says he’s looking forward to the opportunity.

"I'm looking forward to it. I am. We talk a lot, me and him, we talk a lot because you know that's my cousin,” Mullen told TigerNet Tuesday. “We talk a lot, I tell him I'm ready to get after him. I'm just ready to compete with him, it's just going to be a challenge.

"We talk every day, even when we are not playing we just talk. We don't even talk so much about football and us playing, we just talk cause we're just cousins. We just talk. But as far as talking about the game and stuff like that, we haven't discussed that."

Clemson defeated Louisville 42-36 in a thriller in Death Valley last season, and Mullen says he didn’t hear a lot from Jackson after the game.

"I can't remember, but he was kind of, I don't want to say mad but he felt like they could've done some things better,” Mullen said. “He thought they could have put themselves in a better position to win and stuff like that."

The two players haven’t seen each since the summer, and Mullen says he will take a few minutes during pregame to say hello.

"Yeah I would because we barely see each other anyway,” Mullen said. “I haven't seen him in a long time besides when I went home in the summer and things like that. I feel like we would."

Playing against Jackson won’t be something new for Mullen.

"Oh yeah, we always played against each other our whole life,” Mullen said. “Like little league football, we always played against each other in super bowls and regular season. We never played on the same team, we always played against each other. How he is now is how he was before. He was always that type of player."

When the game starts, don’t expect Mullen to send any words Jackson’s way.

"I've never really been that kind of player. When I get into my game I have zoom focus,” Mullen said. “Things like that, I don't do too much.”

Mullen wouldn’t say that Jackson is the best player in the country, but did say he feels like he knows what his cousin will do once they get on the field.

"Arguably, I think so,” he said when asked if Jackson was the nation’s best, “There's a lot of good players out there, I feel like we got a lot of great players as well. I know him. I feel like I know him. I feel like I know what he does and what type of player he is just from being around him my whole life. Just the way he moves, he's a good athlete that's all I can really say. He's a good athlete."

Mullen said that after watching film he has a healthy respect for the Louisville offense.

"I just noticed they got a lot of good players and a lot of good athletes,” he said. “I just feel like if we get out there and do what we do, then the game will be simplified for us. I feel like they're a really good team but I feel like with our defense and the way we run our schemes, we'll have a way to get after him.

"They got some big receivers, they're all talented. I'll give them that. They got a lot of good receivers but we got good DBs as well. It's going to be a lot of competing and competition to see who the best guy is. We just got to come out and put our foot forward and compete."


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