New 49ers Defender Reveals Who he Can’t Wait to Talk Trash Toward


Getty The 49ers celebrate a touchdown by Deebo Samuel on September 11, 2022 in Chicago.

Turns out Clelin Ferrell has people he can’t wait to exchange words with now that he’s with the San Francisco 49ers. Both are on offense — one he’s competed against before and the other is a former college rival of his.

Except both are his new teammates on the Niners in Ray-Ray McCloud and Deebo Samuel.

Speaking with 49ers team reporter Lindsey Pallares in a one-on-one session on Wednesday, March 29, Ferrell smiled at the thought he gets to face his fellow Clemson Tiger McCloud and rival from South Carolina Samuel on the field every day in practices. Pallares asked if there’s someone on the 49ers he can’t wait to be playing with. But after Ferrell said the defensive line first, he then brought up Samuel and McCloud.

“Deebo for sure…because we used to talk a lot of trash back in college,” Ferrell said smiling. “Even Ray-Ray McCloud, that’s my former teammate in college. So it’s a number of different guys. But really the offensive players you know because they’re the guys you get to talk trash to everyday. So I can’t wait. I’m excited for practice.”

Palmetto State Rivals

Clemson and South Carolina is annually one of the fiercest rivalries in college football. And Samuel, McCloud and Ferrell witnessed their versions of the rivalry during their collegiate run.

Samuel, who played in 30 total college games at South Carolina, witnessed his Gamecocks go 0-4 in all four meetings from 2015 to 2018.

And in their final encounter in the 2018 season, Samuel delivered 10 catches for 210 yards and scored three touchdowns against a Tigers defense spearheaded up front by Ferrell. The latter and his team, though, rolled to the 56-35 romp to win Palmetto State bragging rights. Ferrell had four tackles that game with one solo stop.

McCloud’s final taste of the rivalry was in 2017 — when he and the Tigers rolled to the 34-10 romp. McCloud delivered 38 yards from scrimmage that day on five touches. Ferrell had four solo stops. Samuel, meanwhile, was injured that game.

But in the NFL, the chances of rivals becoming teammates increases the moment college prospects become rookies. The chances then gradually builds the longer players stay in the league. And now, Ferrell will rejoin a fellow Clemson Tiger as well as practice against an old rival before they all wear the same game day attire.

Ferrell Believes he Can Show True Skill Set With the 49ers

Ferrell, though, will be aiming to reignite a career that’s seen injuries and inconsistency after being a top five draft pick in the same draft class that saw Samuel fall to the second round.

But in coming to the Bay Area, he’s confident the 49ers are the right fit for him especially with defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.

“I think it’s just the identity,” Ferrell said. “I think everything is built around the players. Most of the good coaches I’ve been around, including coach Wilks, they make it about the players. You know, any X’s and O’s can only take you so far, but can a coach really develop a player’s skill? Can a coach give a player confidence to make them really believe in themselves to where it don’t matter what play you call? We can just go out there and just win the match up and take it from there. So that’s one of the big takeaways that I can take from what I’ve seen separates the coaching staff here.”

Another aspect Ferrell loves about the Bay? Being in the DL room with his new position coach Kris Kocurek.

“I feel like being here with Coach Kris and being in this defense can really, I think, put on notice just my true skill set,” Ferrell said. “And regardless of the fact, I think just the effort, the mentality that I try to bring is something that I really take pride in.”

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