As one of Clemson’s famed Power Rangers squad, Ferrell made his presence known early during his debut in 2016. With Clemson looking for a pass rusher to follow in the footsteps of the departed Kevin Dodd and Shaq Lawson, Ferrell amassed 50 tackles (12.5 for loss) and six sacks as a redshirt freshman. It was clear Ferrell’s ceiling was quite high and would continue to grow.
This proved true in his RS sophomore season as Ferrell became a finalists for the Ted Hendricks Award, which is given to the nation’s top defensive end. He also earned All-American honors while topping his totals from his freshman year, amassing 69 tackles (18 for loss), 9.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.
Opting to return for another season with Christian Wilkins and fellow bookend Austin Bryant, Ferrell capped off a stellar third season with 53 tackles (including 19.5 for loss), 11 sacks, three forced fumbles with two recoveries (one of which went for a touchdown). Ferrell’s final season as a Tiger was stacked with a number of accolades, which included the Ted Hendricks Award and being named as a consensus All-American by multiple publications and services, which included the Associated Press, Sporting News, the AFCA, and Walter Camp.
Ferrell’s 2018 season was a perfect culmination of the skill set he’s been perfecting since his debut in 2016. Disruptive in both run support and in rushing the passer, Ferrell’s high motor coupled with his athletic frame made him a matchup nightmare for many teams.
Ferrell was more than a pass rushing specialist; he also excelled in run support and was a major contributor in providing Clemson with one of the best rushing defenses in college football.
Over the last three seasons, Ferrell did more than establish himself as one of college football’s best defensive ends. He grew into one of the team’s strongest leaders. During the questions surrounding Clemson’s quarterback situation with Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence, Ferrell avoided getting himself mired in any headlines that overly distracted from the team’s goal. Alongside Christian Wilkins, his mental toughness and professionalism was a stellar example of his invaluable leadership on and off the field.
During his tenure, Ferrell did more than make his name among a list of great Clemson pass rushers. He, along with the rest of the Power Rangers’ defensive line, etched their own personalities and flair into the position. Having been part of an elite group of seniors that earned two national championships, Ferrell should be remembered as one of the best to play the position in Death Valley.
To Ferrell, a big thanks from us and the rest of Clemson faithful. The best is yet to come.