Anyone who doubts what the Tiger football program is all about or how much it means to the players should watch offensive lineman Matt Bockhorst’s interview this week.
As this season of attrition, like no other seen by Clemson continues, it becomes more and more easy to overlook the fact that the majority of these young men sacrifice many things to play a sport for fans enjoyment. Yes, some will make it to the next level but the majority of them will never even get the chance.
In his interview earlier this week, Bockhorst made it clear just how much of a true Tiger he was when he talked to the media about his decision to sign with the program.
“I’m very thankful that I came to a place like Clemson,” Bockhorst said. “If I could do it over again 10 out of 10 times I would come here again.”
Bockhorst, who entered this season having played 1,352 career snaps over 40 games (13 starts), had his season and Clemson career cut short when he tore his ACL during the loss at Pitt this past Saturday. He now also faces a fifth knee surgery.
Leaving the field after the injury, that is when it hit Bockhorst that his career was likely over.
“Before I went into the locker room I kind of knew that was probably my last snap and that is very hard to accept,” Bockhorst said. “It’s not something you can control but in a way, you feel like you let your team down. I’ve always wanted to give to my team what I’ve expected them to give me and that’s everything.”
Seeing his parents for the first time after the injury was another part of the process that wasn’t easy to take.
“Devastating. Looking your mother in the eyes and just know that she hurts for you,” Bockhorst stated. “And like I said, I can’t even explain the amount of sacrifices that my parents have made for me.”
While Bockhorst could technically return for a sixth season, the veteran offensive lineman has chosen not to do so, saying now is the time for him to walk away from the sport he loves and with his head held high.
“Sooner or later, you can only take so much,” he pointed out. “It’s part of the game. It’s the risk you run. It’s unfortunate because you just can’t control it. From a mental standpoint, it just takes a lot out of you. To go through that, go through the rehab, get ready to play again and then it just seems like it’s over, over and over again.”It’s my time. It doesn’t make it any easier. I’ve cried my fair share of tears, but it’s something that’s the best decision for me. I’ve done everything I can. I’ve come to the realization that was my last snap.”
Bockhorst also took to twitter detailing the impact that Clemson University has had on him and saying that he will forever be “All In.”
Bockhorst is another football player that could be seen as the definition of just what Tiger fans have to be proud of. Forget what he has meant to Clemson on the field. Just look at the young man he has become, the kind of representative he is for the school, and the one he will continue to be in the future. Bockhorst is not only one more example of being All In, but he is also the utter definition of the Clemson Man.
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