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Wisconsin football: Running back Corey Clement talks health, NFL prospects

The Wisconsin running back spoke with media on Tuesday.

It hasn't been the type of season junior running back Corey Clement envisioned heading into 2015. A sports hernia injury has hampered the primary game breaker, which required him going to Germany for a procedure, has allowed him to play in only three games this season. He's rushed for 155 yards on 29 carries and four touchdowns in those three contests.

He spoke with the media on Tuesday afternoon after the Wisconsin Badgers' practice in their preparation for the Minnesota Golden Gophers -- discussing his current health and his chances at declaring a year early for the 2016 NFL Draft, something he originally was planning but appears to be rethinking.

Here are the highlights:

  • Says he's feeling good, but as he put it -- "could always do better."
  • Clement's not 100 percent, but more around 80 percent per his estimates. "It's like I've been allowing my process to extend more as I keep trying to play on," Clement said. "That's football and just trying to do the best I can"
  • The Rutgers game was the best that he felt.
  • Is he worried if something else is wrong? Noted the physician told him how soreness could occur in the hamstring and groin areas.
  • Right now, he's "100 percent still coming back next year" but will go through the NFL Draft evaluation process. As the Wisconsin State Journal's Jason Galloway and may others who attended practice noted, if there was a first or second-round grade, he'd probably declare for the draft. Otherwise, he'd return with a third round grade or lower.
  • On what he can do to impress scouts, Clement said he just wants to show them he can play. Didn't get a chance to play an entire season. He wants to work on his health and flexibility.
  • On if he had the season he had hoped for (remember, he said his goal was to rush for 2,000 yards at Big Ten media days), said it wouldn't be a discussion if he'd be three-and-out. Said there's nothing wrong with a three-and-out mentality. "I told that to my first coach, (former running backs) Coach (Thomas) Hammock. And he asked me if I was to have 1,500 yards-plus, if I was going to leave -- and I said, in less than two seconds, I was going like "yeah, I was out.' I think I jumped the gun too much, kind of bit me in the rear end, and now I have to re-evaluate some things and just see how things are going to pan out at the end of this year."
  • Regarding the Northwestern game, mentioned a chain reaction of a lot of things going wrong. Couldn't click, which was frustrating, but also noted no one really had an answer, which according to Clement was another point of frustration. Said the coaches challenged the running backs this week
  • Said he'll approach talking with Coach Chryst, running backs coach John Settle and his family regarding his decision to go pro. "That doesn't mean I'm going try to necessarily go to the NFL if that means by sitting down and talking with them," Clement said. "It's just, 'What's your point of view? What do you think I should do?', and just getting an overview of the season. Just seeing how things panned out."

More from Tuesday's player and coach availability