There has never been any question about talent. Joseph Ngata, no doubt has that.
However, being available, that’s another discussion entirely. In each of his first three seasons with Clemson, Ngata has dealt with injuries, having really been hampered in his freshman and sophomore years.
Last season, it looked like he might have put those issues in the past, but towards the end of the season, the injury bug reared its ugly head again, as he missed the final four games. Despite that, he was still able to finish second on the team with 438 receiving yards.
Heading into his senior season, though, Ngata is hoping his luck is about to change, and he is making staying healthy his top priority.
“That’s my number one priority in this, and I’ve gotta do more.’ Ngata said. “I’ve been in the training room but I gotta do more. I’ve been doin a lot, but a lot is not enough for me.”
Ngata has adjusted his diet, dropped some weight, and is arguably in the best physical shape of his career.
“I’m losing weight,” Ngata said. “I’m taking the weight room a lot more seriously, I just changed a lot. I’ve cut out red meat, I’ve cut out pork, I’ve cut out all that. Health is very important to me.”
While he has always been one to take the weight room seriously, the senior wideout is trying to do even more now.
“I’ve just been I’ve been eating a lot healthier.” he said. “I’ve been waking up early, trying to get a lot more sleep. I wake up, I go to the training room to do some prehab there. I take the weight room very serious. I’ve always taken the weight room seriously, but everything now is just more intensified.”
At that same time, Ngata is well aware that injuries are a part of the game, and happen to everyone. While he may have dealt with more than some, he’s not deterred and vows to keep pushing.
“It’s not easy, things happen,” he said. “And that’s just not how my life is. It’s not the worst thing that can happen for me. I’m grateful that I have this opportunity. Obviously, injuries are not the best thing to keep pushing keep pushing, no matter what. They happen to everybody.”
Clemson and Notre Dame have released depth charts ahead of this weekend’s matchup at Death Valley.
For the second time this season, Clemson will be an underdog at home.
Despite Clemson’s astonishing loss to Miami, the Tigers will head to Raleigh next week favored over NC State.