Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo confirmed on Saturday that redshirt senior linebacker Deonte Clyburn is once again dealing with the blood clots that sidelined him for the entire 2016 season.
After practicing in front of the first ever Rambunctious Pep Rally held at the new on-campus stadium, Bobo disclosed the information to media members.
“Early on in practice, [Deonte Clyburn] felt something in his calf, we had to get it checked out and it was another blood clot.” Bobo said. “He went back to the doctors and they’ve got him on blood-thinners again. So when you’re on blood-thinners, you can’t play. I don’t know what the status is going to be for the whole year, but right now he’s out.”
While he was taking blood-thinning medication last season, Clyburn established himself as an emotional leader for the CSU football team. Though he could not lend his physical abilities on the field, Clyburn did not let that prevent him from influencing the Rams defense. He still attended meetings, practices and games and mentored the younger defenders while preparing for his return to football.
In addition to the emotional boost Clyburn gives to the Rams, the team was expecting to regain one of their premiere difference makers on defense. As a junior in 2015, Clyburn ranked fourth on the Rams in both total tackles (74) and tackles for loss (seven).
“Our prayers are with him, he knows he’s still part of the family,” Bobo said. “It’s a tough deal for him, it’s a tough deal for our team. It’s just tough for him, I feel for him. You can feel for us as a team, we’re losing a leader, but I feel for him and how hard he’s worked. We’re just praying for him that some miracle will happen and he can get back out there.”
In Clyburn’s absence through fall camp, senior linebacker Kiel Robinson has filled the void in the first team defense. Robinson started eight games as a sophomore in 2015, ranking sixth on the team with 40 tackles.
The Rams begin their season on Aug. 26 at 12:30 p.m. against Oregon State.
Collegian sports editor Colin Barnard can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ColinBarnard_.