After being named a freshman All-American in 2021, expectations were high for Clemson S Andrew Mukuba entering his sophomore campaign.
However, injuries hampered Mukuba. Even more so than many thought.
While it was made public that he had suffered a dislocated elbow in the second game of the season, an injury that forced him to wear a brace the rest of the year, there were other injuries that weren’t disclosed.
Mukuba recently said on top of the elbow he also suffered a sprained MCL, which undoubtedly had an impact on his coverage abilities.
“There were injuries I had that nobody really knew about but me,” Mukuba said. “Obviously the training staff and those people, but me being the person I am, I didn’t really let that affect me or set me back from going out there on the field, competing and doing my best. But, man, that was unbelievable. It was crazy.”
Despite the injuries, Mukuba still managed to appear in all but two games, and the talented safety feels like the adversity he dealt with a season ago will only help better him in the future.
“I just fought through it, went out there and tried to do what I could do,” Mukuba said.
“I feel like last season helped me a lot and really helped me find the real me and myself.”
With the Tigers all but done with spring practice, Mukuba said he is now feeling better than he’s felt since he was a freshman, and that’s transitioning to his play on the practice field.
“It’s probably the best I’ve felt since I got here my freshman year, and it shows,” Mukuba said. “The way I’m playing now and the way I’m feeling, it just shows I feel good. I feel really healthy right now.”
After playing some corner last season, the plan is for Mukuba to go back to playing safety in 2023. He has also been taking reps in the nickel. But now that he is fully healthy, Mukuba is ready to put the frustrations of his sophomore season behind him and do whatever he can to help his team win.
“You don’t want to be frustrated all the time,” Mukuba said. “Obviously you want to go out there when you feel healthy, and when you don’t feel healthy, you’re not going to perform good. And when you don’t perform good, obviously you’re going to hear a lot of things. And I promise you don’t want to hear none of that.”
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