Pinckney makes ‘Golden’ decision about future

1 min read

A true son of the Lowcountry has decided on his next move, and he’s headed north. Former Whale Branch star and Clemson standout Nyles Pinckney will be a Golden Gopher next season after committing to the University of Minnesota as a graduate transfer Monday.

Pinckney, a 6-foot-1, 300-pound defensive tackle with NFL aspirations, had a solid career for the Tigers, finishing with 95 tackles and some memorable plays, including a tackle for loss on a fake field goal attempt in the national championship win against Alabama two years ago, and was a third-team All-ACC selection a year ago.

But he didn’t get the opportunities needed to raise his NFL Draft stock after entering his senior campaign with 71 tackles (10.5 for loss), two sacks, a forced fumble and two recoveries over 43 career games and 13 starts. 

After starting only two games and collecting 24 tackles (three for loss) and one sack (he also had a rushing touchdown) in 11 games for the Tigers this season, Pinckney likely would have been a late-round draft pick or free-agent signing and a longshot to make an NFL roster.

But the COVID-19 pandemic and the NCAA’s decision to grant all players an extra year of eligibility put another option on the table for Pinckney, and he found a new home at Minnesota.

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