Taggart says Clendenin may be done for year for WKU

Taggart says Clendenin may be done for year for WKU

Brad Stephens

WKU may be without its defensive captain for the rest of the season.

Head Coach Willie Taggart said Monday that senior defensive end Jared Clendenin sustained a broken pinkie toe Saturday against Florida International.

“He’s not going to play this week (against Louisiana State),” Taggart said. “Could be the end of the year, but we heal differently, so I don’t buy that no more when doctors tell me that.”

Clendenin was having the best statistical season of his career through the Toppers’ first nine games.

The Stone Mountain, Ga., native had recorded 37 tackles this year, just three off his career high.

Clendenin played the past three games with a cast on his right arm to protect an undisclosed injury.

He recorded a tackle for a loss and and notched three total tackles Saturday before sustaining the injury in the fourth quarter.

“He’s been a warrior for us,” Taggart said. “That kid goes out there every game and would go all out. He was having a heck of a a ballgame, too, the other night before he went. He was laying it all on the line for us and for this football team.

“This being his last year, he wanted to do that. I hurt for him because of those things.”

Taggart said he had confidence senior Bo Adebayo would fill the production lost with Clendenin’s injury.

Adebayo said the team would play in honor of Clendenin.

“I feel like it’d be tough for anybody, just knowing how far we’ve come and how the season’s gone, to know you can’t play anymore is hard for him,” Adebayo said. “He’s strong, he’ll pull through it.”

Also on the injury front

  • Sophomore cornerback Arius Wright sprained his right ankle in the first half against FIU. Taggart didn’t say if Wright would play against LSU.
  • Freshman running back/punt and kick returner John Evans got “banged up” Saturday, according to Taggart. He said he believed Evans would be fine to participate in full team activities this week.