Nick Eason: From New Clemson Kid to Proud Clemson Man

Nick Eason has been connected to Clemson for most of his life. From a player and now as the Tigers’ defensive line and associate head coach. Eason has experienced the effect Clemson has on its students and student athletes firsthand.

Eason recently reflected on the impact Clemson has had on his life in a post on X (formerly Twitter), in which he explained how Clemson University helped prepare him for success after college and how that culture still resonates with young student athletes today.

Coming off a busy schedule on the recruiting trail, he uses his story as an example for potential future Tigers.

“Over the last few weeks, I have had the distinct pleasure of visiting 127 schools in the Southeast region,” began Eason. “With each visit I never take for granted the impact that a visit from a coach has on the life of a student-athlete. While I was on the road, I kept hearing the term ‘He’s a Clemson kid’ come up.”

Nick Eason

Eason was once that ‘Clemson kid’. He played for the Tigers in the late 90s and early 2000s before being drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2003. He played in 47 games for Clemson and started 35 of those, totaling 153 tackles and 15 sacks before going on to play nine seasons in the NFL for four different franchises. He helped the Pittsburgh Steelers win Super Bowl XLIII.

Looking back, Eason is grateful for the opportunity that Clemon afforded to get an education and prepare him for life after football and a career in coaching. Eason earned his degree in Sociology and is currently working towards obtaining his master’s degree in human resource development.

He wants recruits to value the importance of education the same way and to see themselves as students first.

“First, a Clemson kid values graduation, and their primary concern is preparing themselves for life after college and enjoying their college experience,” he continued in his post. “Secondly, a Clemson kid is one that never lets the challenges they may encounter stop them from being an overcomer, and most importantly they have the heart of a winner, and the drive to win a championship!”

Nick Eason

Eason never won a championship in his time playing for Clemson, but he was hired as the Tigers’ defensive line coach in 2022 with the goal of fulfilling as a coach what he never got to experience as a player. Part of that means putting stock in the value of knowledge and letting it translate to the field. The Tigers are well-accustomed to success at both, sporting one of the highest graduation rates among Power 5 programs as well as a title-winning pedigree on the gridiron.

Molding young athletes into great men is one reason Eason was drawn back to Clemson, and the formative experiences of his youth turned a kid into what Eason wants to see the next generation of Tigers become.

“In 1998, I became a ‘Clemson kid’,” he concluded. “And I am so proud of that decision because it let me be a forever proud ‘Clemson man’. Go Tigers!”

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