When Clemson held its annual Pro Day last week, there was one player noticeably absent from the festivities.
Left tackle Jackson Carman chose not to work out for the 31 NFL teams in attendance, instead choosing to wait and do so at his own personal Pro Day later in the spring.
“For me, the reason I didn’t work out is because I was just dealing with a lot of different things like coming off the end of the season,” Carman said after Clemson’s Pro Day. “But for me, I feel better prepared and I’m excited to have my own Pro Day in April. I’m really looking forward to that, being able to perform.”
Carman announced shortly after the season ended that he would forgo his senior season and enter the upcoming NFL Draft. The two-year starter at left tackle said he feels like he is physically and mentally ready to pursue his longtime dream.
“Me and my support team and the people around me just really felt like I had a good season and that I was ready, not only physically for the NFL, but just mentally and maturity-wise,” Carman said. “This was a great opportunity for me and a challenge that I’ve been dreaming of since literally a little kid. So, just the opportunity that I have right now to just be able to go chase my dreams and do it at full speed is something I’m excited and ready for.”
There were some who thought that Carman could have helped himself by returning to school for one more season, but the offensive linemen from Ohio feels like he has nothing left to prove at the collegiate level.
“As far as this past season, I felt like I had a great season,” Carman said. “It was definitely a special season just considering everything that we went through as a team, and really just being able to grow through all the adversity. And my play, I felt like was a bright spot for me. I felt like I played well, and honestly I just wish that we could have finished together all the way to the end. I felt like we had the capability to do that, and that was probably the only lowlight for me for the season.”
As for where he thinks he needs to improve, Carman said that he is always looking to improve and at every aspect of his game.
“I feel like for me personally there’s not one singular thing that I feel like is the biggest deficiency,” Carman said. “I feel like every single part of my game needs work, and I’m working on every single part, whether it’s physical, technique, mental. Every single thing I’m putting in tons of effort and work towards building myself holistically as a player.”
At the end of the day, Carman says he is ready for the next phase of his career and said that whatever team decides to draft him will get a guy that can help their team win.
“That I’m a smart football player, tough,” Carman said. “I love to play the game for the love of the game… And I can help a team win.”