Cervenka makes history

Clemson signee Gage Cervenka has accomplished something no other athlete in the history of South Carolina. Read on to find out more.

DT Gage Cervenka Profile

The NFL Draft is only one week away, and there are several ex-Clemson defensive tackles hoping to have their names called. Grady Jarrett is a sure-fire NFL draft pick. Joining him are fellow tackles DeShawn Williams and Josh Watson. Williams and Watson may not hear their names called in the 7-round draft, but they will certainly get a chance in free agency to show their talents at the next level, should they go undrafted.

As Clemson finished up spring practice, it was looking to continue developing depth at the interior of the defensive line. One defensive tackle who has not yet joined the fray is incoming-freshman Gage Cervenka (Greenwood, S.C.) from Emerald High School. Cervenka just recently finished up his high school athletic career, both on and off the football field. He was on campus for Clemson's spring game and took some time to catch up with CUTigers to recap his visit.

"I just focused on watching the defense and saw how things run in a game," said Cervenka. "I talk to Coach (Dan) Brooks, Josh Watson and Grady Jarrett a lot when I'm in Clemson. I watch DJ Reader, Carlos Watkins and Scott Pagano and talk to them when I get a chance."

Cervenka has already started picking up tips from the older, more experienced players at his position. "I've learned that you have to be able to move, stay low and just learn the defense," continued Cervenka.

Despite going on to play football collegiately, Cervenka most recently finished his high school wrestling career. This included an achievement never-before seen in South Carolina.

"It felt amazing. Words really can't describe how I felt. It's just exciting to say that I am the first four-time heavyweight state champion. The key was to just stay focused, put in work at practice and just go into each match like it's my last one. And that helped me win my last one," said Cervenka.

As Cervenka approaches his first year on campus with the Tigers, he's seen the drive needed to compete on the gridiron through his accomplishments on the wrestling mat.

"I'm going to work as hard as I can to get a chance to play this season. A goal I set for myself was to start as a freshman, and I'm going to do everything I need to so I can get out on that field," he said.

Having played football in high school in close proximity to Clemson, Cervenka already has an appreciation for what it means to be a Tiger.

"It just shows that they want to be the best, and I love that. The tradition at Clemson is unbelievable. I can't wait to be a part of the tradition at Clemson and to win championships. We have the same goals every year. That's to win the opener, win the division, win the state championship, win the ACC Championship and then the National Championship," he added.

Cervenka was rated as a 3-star defensive tackle and the No. 2 defensive tackle in South Carolina by Scout for the class of 2015.

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