PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The names came and went and former Glassboro High star Corey Clement sat there in his Courtyard Marriott hotel room and watched them go by—one running back after the other without his name being called. It was humbling, a little demoralizing and it’s filled the Wisconsin standout, coming off his best collegiate season rushing for 1,375 yards and 15 touchdowns, with an incentive that may be enough for him to make the Eagles.
As an undrafted free agent, Clement has a good chance to be on this team, considering that the Eagles are slight—literally and figuratively—in the running back department.
Clement is listed as 5-foot-11, 227 pounds, though the Eagles would like him playing down at around 217, which Clement says he has no problem doing. They need a running back with the size and athletic capability as Clement.
For the first time in his life, Clement isn’t the star. He’s been slapped in the face—and he’s ready to slap back all of those teams that didn’t select him.
“I was a little surprised when I wasn’t drafted, but I can’t look back at that now,” Clement said. “I have to look at what I can do for myself to place myself in the best position to succeed. At the same time, the draft is what is it and this time next year, no one will be thinking about that.
“I wish I could tell you why (he wasn’t drafted). I’m making the most of it with the Philadelphia Eagles. I was confused why I didn’t get picked. Evidently it didn’t. I signed with the Eagles because of opportunity and those guys truly believe in me, the kind of character I have and the type of player that I can be.”
Right now, the Eagles depth chart at running back looks like this (excluding Ryan Mathews): Darren Sproles (5-6, 185), rookie Donnel Pumphrey (5-8, 176), Wendell Smallwood (5-10, 208) and Bryon Marshall (5-9, 201). So yes, the Eagles don’t have a back over 210 pounds.
It’s Clement’s size and power that convinced the Eagles to sign him.
“Well, obviously, he’s a bigger back; he’s physical; he’s a guy that we know, obviously being from the area,” Eagles’ coach Doug Pederson said. “It’s exciting to get guys like that in here who you kind of have a little history with. I kind of have the same history with one of the safeties out there right now, with Weston Steelhammer, who is a guy that I knew when I coached high school ball – he grew up with my son. So, it’s great to have those connections to know these guys and then to get him in here, get him going [and] get him working just to see where he’s at. But [Clement is] someone who could hopefully potentially fill and create some good competition at that [running back] spot.”