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Former Clemson football player finds have come bak to Clemson to day.



GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) – A former Clemson football players dreams of playing in the NFL were stripped away after a horrific car crash.

Richard Yeargin III went to Clemson University because of Head Coach Dabo Swinney. He went on to play for the Tigers as a defensive end from 2014 to 2018. During his first year as a red shirt, he used that time to fully develop his skill set on the field.

Yeargin’s hard work paid off in the 2015 Capital One Orange Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners. During that game, he took down OU’s Joe Mixon, getting his first college sack of his career. The Tigers went on to win that game in blowout fashion 37-17.

The ultimate goal was to win a National Championship, something Clemson hoped to do against Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. The Clemson Tigers fell short that year, something that Yeargin said left him even more hungry for the coveted national title.

“I remember walking off the field and looking at the confetti fall on Alabama and I didn’t like the taste of that in mouth,” Yeargin said.

In the offseason, Yeargin spent his time getting stronger physically and mentally, which would lead him to having a successful season. One of his finest games was against Louisville’s Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. His success on the field was setting him up for possibly entering the NFL Draft and achieving his dream of turning pro.

Yeargin had a good feeling about his team in 2016 and it turned out to be a magical year for both. Clemson had another another opportunity to beat Alabama for the National Championship. The Tigers would go on to beat Alabama and bring home the teams first national title in more than 30 years.

Everything in Yeargin’s life changed in 2017 while driving on rainy night in Greenville.

“I was stuck on the side of the road screaming for help, begging God to pick me up and let me walk again and let me live a normal life of some sort,” Yeargin said.

The car he was driving hydroplaned and crashed, leaving him with a broken neck and years of recovery.

Doctors told him that most people in situation were either dead or paralyzed, but that wasn’t his case. Instead, he wouldn’t be able to play football, use the bathroom comfortable or shower.

Yeargin’s journey to recovery was one of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual growth. His biggest fear was becoming a burden to those who were taking care of him.

It was through these dark days that Yeargin began chipping away at his life’s calling discovering his passion for writing, teaching, and coaching. His life-changing car crash helped him find football in a new way.

Yeargin later found himself in a neck brace standing on the sidelines as the Tigers won their third National Championship.

Today, you will find him walking the halls of Clemson University where he is working on his PhD, and teaching Principles of Coaching, Marketing and Brand Communication, and NCAA Policy Governance. Yeargin has gone on to be a published author and motivational speaker who travels across the country sharing his life lessons.

Yeargin knows that even through tragedy he found triumph, and he hopes his story allows people to find their calling through all of life’s tackles and touchdowns.

If you want to learn more about Richard Yeargin III story or hear him speak, you can visit his website.

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