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T.J. Clemmings: From Secret Service Intern to Vikings Right Tackle


Rookie right tackle Anthony Harris has had multiple opportunities to learn in his first four pro starts.

Clemmings and the Vikings will host Kansas City Sunday, and see a Chiefs team that includes right outside linebacker Tamba Hali. Clemmings and Hali grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey but have never met personally. Hali's brother Henry, however, was Clemmings' eighth grade teacher.


Is he big like his brother?

"No, he's a small guy, man, only like this big, (motioning below his shoulders). Nice guy," Clemmings said. "Tamba's sister and my sister were in the same year so they kind of went to school all the way up through high school. That was pretty cool. I don't know how much he goes back, but people talk about him every time I've been around, so that's a good thing. I'll get with him after the game."

Clemmings visited Henry Hali when he was back in New Jersey before training camp and tried to do so again last week.

"On the bye week, I went back to school to see if he was there, but he was sick or something, so I didn't get a chance to see him," Clemmings said. "I know he's proud of me."

The first love for Clemmings was basketball, but after giving football a try in his final two seasons at Paterson Catholic, Clemmings turned down hoops scholarships from Providence and Seton Hall to accept a football scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh, going from Cougars to Panthers.

That wasn't the only transition for Clemmings, who switched from defense to offense heading into his redshirt junior season. The move helped Clemmings become more aggressive on the gridiron, and he started all 26 games over his final two seasons. He was named Second Team All-America and First Team All-ACC as a senior and earned an invite to the Senior Bowl.

Interning with the Secret Service in the Pittsburgh field office in summer 2014 places Clemmings at or near the top of Vikings players' best summer gigs. Ever.

We caught up with T.J., which stands for Trevor (Anthony Clemmings) Jr., for a recent Timeout.

Q: Who's been your biggest inspiration?

A: I would probably have to say my parents.

Q: Where were you when you were drafted and who were you with?

A: I was at home with my family, my parents, sisters and friends.

Q: How many sisters do you have?

A: I have three sisters (Monique, Moneah, Melissa)

Q: What was it like to grow up with that many sisters?

A: It was cool. You learn how to interact with women.

Q: What was your major in college/favorite class?

A: I majored in criminal justice. I don't know that I had a favorite. I liked all my criminal justice classes, probably criminalistics.

Q: What does that involve?

A: Evidence, but it was mainly classroom teaching.

Q: Proudest football moment?

A: My proudest football moment probably would have been getting drafted.

Q: After all the time and preparation work, did the feeling match what you were expecting?

A: Yeah, it's a sign, or an accomplishment that shows you that you did it, and all the hard work that you put in since you started playing football hasn't gone unnoticed.

Q: Proudest non-football moment?

A: When I graduated from college.

Q: How do those emotions differ from getting drafted?

A: Well, it's different because my degree, there's nothing or no one that can take that away from me. Football is kind of different. You never know. You play for as long as you can, and when it's time to go, it's time to go.

Q: What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word Vikings?

A: Purple.

Q: If you weren't playing football, would you be working in criminal justice?

A: Yeah, I would probably be applying for different positions in the criminal justice field. I worked for the Secret Service (in summer 2014), so I would try to see what I could do to go down that road or see where I had to start from to work my way up. Definitely put my degree to use.

Q: Secret Service, that sounds pretty special. Where were you based?

A: It was cool. We were at the Pittsburgh field office, and President Obama came that summer.

Q: Did you meet him?

A: I did not meet him because I had football requirements. I should have gone to go see him.

Q: Well you know the way to meet him now?

Clemmings: How's that?

Vikings Playbook: Win a championship.

Clemmings: Let's hope we do that this year.

Q: Do you have any hobbies?

A: I like to go to movies when I can. I like to try different restaurants, but more than anything, I like to relax at my house and put my feet up.

Q: What movie type do you like the most?

A: I like some romance movies. I like action movies, definitely, thrillers, not really scary movies anymore. I've kind of stopped watching those.

Q: So your favorite movie all time would be?

A: I can watch Olympus has Fallen a lot, so that's probably my favorite movie right now.

Q: Favorite food?

A: Probably chicken alfredo, but I'm trying not to eat things like that, so I'm trying to find something new.

Q: Favorite car?

A: I don't really know. I'm a fan of SUVs. I can't say a favorite one, but Ford Expedition has been pretty nice to me.

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