In an effort to keep even the most hardcore Miami fan up to date on their favorite players, SOTU will be running a Player Profile series. In these posts, our writers will profile two players from each position that they think should get more face time. They will recap their previous year, or in some cases, preview what may be to come. That way, when the season get's here, you hopefully will have a new found love for the team on the field.
Senior - Running Back - 5'9" 192lbs - Miami, Florida
" I was raised in a tough environment, where nothing came free. You had to fight for whatever you wanted, and I'm still fighting." -Eduardo Clements
That quote was taken on July 19th 2011... what he couldn't know at that time was that the fight he spoke of, ingrained into him since his youth, would play such an important role in him battling back from a season (and possibly college career) ending injury.
Sometimes a player's impact and worth isn't found in a statistical packet. Eduardo Clements is one of those players. Clements is a running back, special teams, defensive back, team player/leader out of Booker T. Washington. The Miami native decided to play for the "home team" after seeing the brotherhood of the players when he took his official visit to UM. He quickly became a big part of that brotherhood, earning high praise from the old and new coaching staffs; and having AL Golden go as far as to refer to him as the "heart and soul" of the 'Canes. So when Clements went down last season after the North Carolina game with an "upper extremity injury" that he originally thought was a stinger, everyone was disappointed but figured he'd bounce back. Unfortunately, in reality it was a season ending injury that ended up being a herniated disc in need of surgical repair. Surgery involving your spine, no matter the circumstance, will make you reevaluate things. So no one would have been surprised if Clements wasn't listed on the roster this season due to health reasons. Clements, a fighter, however decided that he still had a year left and wasn't about to give in and forgo his senior year over a lil' ole herniated disc. He remained positive and adamant about playing this season (all the while wearing a neck brace). Spring came and went without him putting on the pads. Fans and teammates hoped and prayed for good news as the fall practices are ready to begin, and the season is less than 30 days away. Then, with just under a week before fall practice gets underway, he hit us with this tweet :
Got That Green Light From DOC, Now Its #FullSpeedAhead!— OT (@DreamChaser_OT) July 30, 2013
This is a great story even if he doesn't play a meaningful snap - player fights through injury for one final season. But we could really use him and his experience in an otherwise young backfield. The backup spot behind Duke is up for grabs, and depending on his recovery, it's as much his as anyone's.. He hasn't had that many carries up until now, rushing a total of 39 times for 184 yards. That is mostly a product of backs like Lamar Miller, Duke Johnson, and Mike James clogging up the back field during his time at Miami. Those yards he does have though have come at big times, converting 2 third and shorts and punching in a goal line score against BC. That type of running will be a huge asset to the team with the rest of the backs being largely untested. He has had a large role on the special teams in past seasons. Whether he continues will be up to him and the coaching staff, but I am sure he will be up to the task if there is no further risk of injury. Whatever his contribution is on the field this year will pale in comparison to the impression he'll leave upon his teammates and fans. The heart and soul of the team that has fought back from a herniated disc has helped set the tone for the 2013 season - a tone that giving up will not be tolerated and that fighting through adversity will be required.