Corey Clement’s story is unbelievable and it’s inspiring.
Undrafted rookie from the Philly suburbs signs with the Eagles and becomes a Super Bowl star.
And Sunday afternoon, in his hometown of Glassboro, New Jersey, he served as commencement speaker at Rowan University’s graduation, telling the Rowan Class of 2018 that they too can achieve greatness no matter how great the odds they face.
“A year ago this week I was wearing a cap and gown and earning my bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin,” Clement said, speaking inside the stadium where he rushed for 238 yards and four touchdowns against Pennsville to lead Glassboro High to the 2011 South Jersey Group 1 title.
“My future was uncertain. After playing football and completing my degree, I was expected to be a third- or fourth-round pick. Everybody expected that. Me, my family, NFL scouts, the media and my teammates.
“The plan was to graduate and join the NFL team that wanted me, but that didn’t happen. For whatever reason, I went undrafted. My dream since I was 5 years old. The dream that I worked toward. The dream that I promised my mom that would happen someday did not happen.
“I was devastated. Embarrassed. I felt like I let myself down and everybody else who loved and supported me down. After that I wasn’t sure what my path would be. But I began to realize that I couldn’t control other peoples’ opinions, I could only control how hard I worked.”
Clement, 23, spoke of how he overcame extreme odds in training camp to make the Eagles as a running back and after playing very little early in the season wound up catching four passes for 100 yards in the Eagles’ upset win over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.
“When Tom Brady’s last-second pass into the end zone was deflected, I ran onto the field like everybody else, and I cried my butt off,” Clement said.
“Going from an undrafted free agent to a Super Bowl champion didn’t feel real to me. It still doesn’t. But the path that got me here is very real.
“Graduates, as you all sit here today, I know your journeys too are real, even if you don’t know exactly what your path will be. But your path has made you who you are. Your upbringing has made you you. I hope that like me you’re thankful for the people in your life who supported you and sacrificed for you so that you could live out your dreams. …
“I don’t think life owes us anything. We earn what we get out of life. So as you graduate today, I hope you don’t go into your careers afraid of the odds.
“Whether you want to find a cure for Parkinson’s or bring running water to a village in Honduras or you want to be an entrepreneur or you want to be a filmmaker or a novelist or a musician or a teacher or a coach, I hope you’ll attack your dream at full speed. Dive into things that are difficult. …
“The Eagles mantra all last year led by coach (Doug) Pederson was, ‘We’re not done yet.’ And neither am I. I’m antsy to win another championship for the city.
“I’m sure enough not done. I just got started. And as you start your careers and find success I hope you’ll fight complacency, celebrate your achievements, but also set goals for yourself and seek other outlets for your talents.
“I’m planning to pursue my MBA additionally. I’m very interested in music. I’m a music producer and I also sing, write and orchestrate.
“Just because you’re good at one thing and you’ve chosen that for your career doesn’t mean you don’t have to try something else. Be multi-dimensional. Find new passions and new outlets that challenge you and express you as a person.”