Pitt Panthers T.J. Clemmings Taken In Fourth Round By Minnesota Vikings


For the Pitt Panthers’ T.J. Clemmings, the NFL Draft was an embodiment of the line, “All good things come to those who wait.”

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The 6-foot-5, 309-pound offensive lineman was selected at No. 11 in fourth round by the Minnesota Vikings.The pick was the 110th overall. The Panthers have had at least one player chosen in 14 out of the last 16 drafts.

The Teaneck, New Jersey native started all 26 games at right tackle the past two seasons. He had been a defensive end for the Blue and Gold his freshman and sophomore years. In 2014, he was named second-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference by both the media and head coaches.

He was a three-time ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week last season for his performances against Boston College, Virginia Tech and Duke, and was invited to participate in the Senior Bowl

Clemmings, who was a former high school basketball player at Paterson Catholic, was viewed as a first-round selection until concerns arose over a stress fracture in his foot right before the draft.

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  • The scouts were impressed with his foot quickness, and that he has the ability to move in on targets and finish them in the screen game. They also like that Clemmings will disengage a block to pick up the delayed blitzer and has the talent to execute any block required of him in the running game.

    Minnesota had gone for help on defense in the first three rounds on Thursday and Friday. It was time to turn their attention to the offense on Saturday. The Purple and Gold added Southern Illinois Salukis tight end MyCole Pruitt and Maryland Terrapins wide receiver Stefon Diggs in the fifth round to bolster their attack.

    “Everyone at Pitt is incredibly proud of T.J.,” first-year Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said on the program’s web site. “We know he is going to be a great asset for the Vikings, on and off the field. I can remember recruiting him when he was in high school. It has been really great reconnecting with him at Pitt these past few months. He is a tremendous player and person.”

    From The Clipboard: Former Panthers safety and team captain Ray Vinopal was named this week to the prestigious Hampshire Honor Society by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame.

    In 2014, the 5-foot-10, 200-pound defensive back from Youngstown, Ohio earned his bachelor’s degree in business finance and supply chain management. He began work in Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business last fall and is pursuing an MBA.

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