Second-day tackle draws interest from 49ers
At the Combine in late February, Kansas State senior tackle Jeromey Clary had an interview with position coaches from the 49ers and several other teams. The 6-foot-6, 310-poound prospect is a three-year starter who was awarded all-conference and all-academic honors since his sophomore season. He's an intelligent tackle with a good degree of upside potential, an Outstanding position blocker who effectively uses angles and knocks rushers from the action. Clary gets movement run-blocking, plays with a nasty attitude and stays with assignments. He's smart and aware and seals linebackers from the action on the second level. On the downside, he's not light on his feet or quick sliding out to protect the edge. He has marginal skills in space. A consistent player in college, Clary is a hard-working prospect with the ability to play at the next level once he completes his game. The 49ers would like to bring in another young tackle prospect to build depth and compete for playing time. With 11 picks in the draft, Clary will be considered by the Niners if he still is around during the last half of those selections. Here, he talks about his experiences at the Combine and football in general in scout.com's interview with him. Q: Tell us a little about your family. Clary: I have a great family, I'm getting married this summer to a wonderful woman who's a pole-vaulter for Kansas State. My parents are the most supportive parents anyone could ask for. They've been to every game that I was in through college road games, home games, bowl games, championships, everything. And I've got two sisters that I'm extremely close to and talk to very often. It's a great family. We're all really close. Q: What did you gain from your East-West Shrine Game experience? Clary: A little bit of how the NFL practice style is, and I learned a lot about the base of the offensive schemes, the terminology and the harder snap counts. I got to meet a lot of great guys and got to gain bonds with guys that I had never talked to - just saw on the field - and that was a really great experience. Q: What teams did you get a good feeling from, that you felt were showing some genuine interest in you? Clary: I'll tell you who I met with, but I don't know really how to judge their level of interest. But I met with the Patriots, I met with the Chiefs, the Seahawks, a bunch of scouting agencies. A lot of the other teams I talked to was just while I was filling out their questionnaires. The more in-depth ones were the Seahawks, the Patriots and the Chiefs. Q: Any favorite pro teams growing up that would just be a dream come true if they selected you? Clary: I grew up in Texas and I watched the infamous trio of Aikman, Irvin, and Smith. And I grew up watching Larry Allen, so it would be obviously a dream come true to play for the Cowboys. But I'm open for anything. I've wanted to play the game since I was five years old, so just getting into the NFL is my goal. Q: How daunting is it from where you sit today to think that possibly in a few months you could end up in a situation where you would be expected to protect a pro quarterback like Peyton Manning of the Colts? Clary: I think it can be daunting and it can make you nervous and anxious if you let it, but I think that in a few months after training camp, I think I'll be more than ready. I adapted fairly well coming out of high school into college - and that's no comparison from college to the NFL - but I feel like I'm an adaptive player and I can learn offenses pretty well and I can adjust to the speed at a given time. And I believe that I'll be able to reach that caliber of a play fairly quickly. Q: Let's talk about the overall combine experience. Was it pretty much what you expected? Clary: Yeah, I think for the most part. There was a lot more down time than I thought there was going to be. I understand why – it's 330 kids they're trying to get through the system in a short period of time - so when you're in the first group you're always the first one to finish. So you always have a lot of down time. I was surprised by that, but the physicals with the doctors, I don't think you can really be prepared for that. That's an experience. Q: From what perspective? Clary: From the player's point of view, in college you get one physical a year and you kind of check out your own injuries. But it's no big deal. And when you get there (the Combine) if you have little injuries, it seems like it's life or death and you have to answer the same question eight different times from eight different doctors -- so its an experience. Q: What were they hammering you about in your injury history? Clary: I have a very minute injury history, so I was one of the more lucky ones who didn't have to get hammered all the time. But I had some buddies that were there that had some shoulder problems and some knee problems, and they had to go get three different MRI's for injuries that were two, three, four years ago. I wasn't baffled by it because I understand the money that's involved, but it just makes you think. Q: What was the toughest part of the whole experience for you personally other than maybe you know the medical side and the sitting around waiting? Clary: The toughest part of the whole combine was having to be mentally "on" the entire time, because interviews took place anywhere and everywhere. Q: Do you feel you have a good balance to your game or do you have a reputation as a stronger run blocker versus pass blocker? Clary: I feel I have a pretty good balance. I came from a powerful offensive scheme that enjoyed running the ball. But I still believe I'm a decent pass blocker who's capable of getting into an NFL scheme that passes more.
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