Clemson Football

Diondre Overton opens up about his future, time at Clemson: "I like to compete."

May 1, 2020
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Just before the NFL Draft, we caught up with Diondre Overton to find out how things were going as he prepared for the next stage in his career.

Currently, Overton has yet to sign a deal with an NFL team and is still looking for a fit at the next level. He has a work out scheduled with the Los Angeles Rams that will hopefully take place soon. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 situation has hampered opportunities for many players.

Scouts believe that Overton's attributes will allow him to fight for a spot in the league, but his ability to make a difference extends beyond the field.

In order to reach his NFL dreams, Overton, like many other players, has had to push himself given the rules of social distancing.

"It's been crazy during these times. It takes a lot of self-motivation, and a will to work because nobody's around to give you an agenda. You've got to pretty much go do everything on your own," Overton said.

“They hold each other accountable to a standard. Everybody has to abide by this standard to be dependable.”
- Diondre Overton

Thanks to the programs and procedures that Dabo Swinney has in place, Overton said he learned valuable lessons that helped him during these unique times. The Accountability Teams helped everyone be better at their job.

"They hold each other accountable to a standard. Everybody has to abide by this standard to be dependable," Overton noted.

In the classroom, Overton shined during his time at Clemson, and a lot of that motivation came from his childhood. He did so well at Clemson that he was honored as one of the Hampshire Honor Society Members by the National Football Foundation.

"My mom was always on me coming up in school. School was always first. I took that seriously and took the tutoring and everything else serious," Overton said. "I gotta give a shout out to all the academic advisors that helped us get through everything. Coach Swinney enabled that in our system and school always came first. We had to get that out the way before we can step on the field."

When Overton looks back on his life in sports, it all started in the Pitt County Rec Leagues. Overton and his brother would play ball all the time, and basketball was his "first love." 

His brother eventually played football at East Carolina, and after graduating and getting a shot in the NFL, he moved out to Arizona. The two stay in contact all the time.

"He's still that big brother to me; encourages me everyday and kind of my main point of my support system."

Being in Clemson, Overton also had a chance to play with several top-level wideouts, and it was hard for him to decide who had the most significant impact on his game. 

"Coming in my freshman year, we had a lot of big names. I was surrounded by some great receivers and I kind of learned a lot from Mike Williams, Deon Cain, Tee Higgins, all (those) guys. They all encouraged me, supported me, and they helped me become the player I am today."

During his time in Tiger Town, Overton had an opportunity to be a part of some of the greatest seasons in Clemson history, and those are memories he will hold onto forever.

"Being able to play in the national championship is definitely something that everybody dreams of, and being able to actually win two of those is also a great accomplishment," Overton noted. "You have to cherish those moments because you know, not everybody gets to experience that. So, I mean, it was a great experience. The crowd there, being able to make a couple of catches in those games, I feel like that is something I'll always remember."

Clemson Sports Talk
Diondre Overton celebrates his Clemson career on Senior Day in Death Valley.

In a day and age where players who aren't starters find a new home, Overton decided to stick it out at Clemson. He was rewarded his senior season with a three-touchdown performance against Boston College and was named the O'Rouke-McFadden Trophy for his efforts in the game.

Looking back, it was another former Tiger receiver who helped Overton stay on his path in Clemson instead of seeking greener pastures elsewhere.

"I really look up to Trevion Thompson. With his experience his last year at Clemson, that's one of the reasons I stayed grounded and finished out this season here."

Overton said that a lot of times players get influenced by "hometown people" and that when those people get in your head, it can be hard to shake. But the thing Overton recognized is that no matter where you go, collegiately, there are talented players all over the place.

"When it comes to the college level, everybody's going to be talented, and you got to be able to do your job and be consistent, so if you can't do that, at a big-time college, what makes you think you can go somewhere else and do it? But a lot of people don't like competition," Overton said. That's one thing about me. I like to compete, and I like to be around people who can make me better."

In addition to being around great wideouts, Overton had a close eye on both Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence. Pressed to compare the two, he said it would be "very difficult" and that the two are similar in a lot of respects.

“Right now I'm pretty much, I'm everywhere working out, man. Just trying to get it in whenever I can; been working consistently. I'm in Clemson right now, but working out in Greenville, South Carolina. Just trying to stay on my grind.”
- Diondre Overton

"Great guys of character, great men on and off the field," Overton stated. "Those guys are leaders, and they take the initiative, and like you've seen this year, Trevor took the initiative. He told us we're not going to lose that (Ohio State) game, kind of around the end of the third quarter, and you know, he brought us back, and he competed."

As for the NFL, Overton is continuing to work out in hopes of making a roster.

"Right now I'm pretty much, I'm everywhere working out, man. Just trying to get it in whenever I can; been working consistently. I'm in Clemson right now, but working out in Greenville, South Carolina. Just trying to stay on my grind."

Yet, even if his tryout in Los Angeles doesn't work out, his work in the classroom will pay off. Overton's already wrapping his mind around what life could be like after football as well.

"I grew up around my mother who kind of worked with younger kids, and she's a social worker so kind of been around that my whole life. I like sports, so I kind of want to combine those things. Being a mentor, a coach, open up a training facility somewhere around those fields. I have a couple of job opportunities."

Whether he is in the league or taking his first job after college, one thing is for sure, Diondre Overton is going to make a positive impact.

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Diondre Overton opens up about his future, time at Clemson: "I like to compete."

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