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Clemson starting safety Lannden Zanders giving up football

Syndication: The Greenville News

Clemson safety Lannden Zanders(36) in a drill during practice in Clemson, S.C. Monday, August 9, 2021. Clemson Football Practice August 9

Ken Ruinard / staff via Imagn Content Services, LLC

CLEMSON, S.C. -- One-time Clemson starting safety Lannden Zanders is giving up football because of continuing problems with his injured right shoulder.

Zanders has had three surgeries to repair and rehab a torn labrum. He was cleared to compete at the Tigers’ fall camp. However, Zanders said on social media he felt he was not “physically able” to be the player he had been and made the choice to step away from the game.

Zanders started nine games for Clemson in 2020, then sustained a season-ending shoulder injury in the Tigers’ 10-3 loss to eventual national champion Georgia in last year’s opening game.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound fourth-year junior from Shelby, North Carolina, has had three surgeries to try and fix the injury. He leaves the program with 57 tackles, three sacks and four pass breakups in 25 games, 10 of them as a starter.

While Zanders is disappointed, he said he leaves the game with no regrets. “Even as I enter my next chapter, I am proud that my journey and my life story include the opportunity to have played football at Clemson,” he wrote in his post.

Zanders was expected to compete for a backup position and provide depth in the secondary. Co-defensive coordinator Mickey Conn said last month Zanders, who missed spring practice, had been cleared to return to the field.