Wake Forest's Dave Clawson visits injured Syracuse player in hospital

Teammates console Syracuse’s <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/256895/" data-ylk="slk:Tyrone Perkins">Tyrone Perkins</a> (26) after he was injured in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Wake Forest in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Teammates console Syracuse’s Tyrone Perkins (26) after he was injured in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Wake Forest in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Syracuse defensive back Tyrone Perkins, hospitalized in North Carolina after suffering a serious leg injury in the Orange’s win over Wake Forest over the weekend, received a surprise visitor on Tuesday.

On the ACC coaches teleconference Wednesday, Syracuse coach Dino Babers said that Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson took the time out of his day to visit with Perkins.

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“Tyrone is still in North Carolina. Let me say this. I got a picture from Tyrone yesterday with Dave Clawson visiting him in the hospital. I just want to say publicly that I really do appreciate Dave doing that. That was something that was very gracious on his end,” Babers said.

“All of us know how important our time is as a head coach, especially to our own programs. For him to go out and visit one of my guys in the local hospital is something I’ll never forget, something that I’ll always appreciate.”

Clawson: ‘What a great young man’

Wake Forest plays at No. 14 NC State on Thursday night, so Clawson made sure he arranged to pay Perkins, a senior, a visit at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center before the Demon Deacons left town.

“When he got hurt, our trainers knew right away that it was a very serious injury. I wanted to get over there sooner, but he was in ICU and they wouldn’t let me go in. I knew we were leaving [Wednesday] and they made arrangements for me to go over and see him yesterday,” Clawson said on Wednesday’s teleconference.

“What a great young man. Just a really positive attitude. You go down your senior year to play a football game and you’re playing and next thing you know you’re in a hospital in a strange town and your teammates and your coaches aren’t there. We had a player last year that had a similar injury, and I know how tough it is. I just wanted to go over and let him know that there’s people here that care about him. Even the player of ours that had that injury last year reached out to him. It’s part of football, but it’s hard to ever see a young man suffer that type of injury and then not be able to be with his teammates for a couple of days.”

‘He’s in a really good place’

Clawson, who preceded Babers as the head coach at Bowling Green earlier this decade, said Perkins is in good spirits despite the long recovery ahead.

“The surgeons there did a great job, so his prognosis is really good. He knows what’s ahead, but I think he also knows it could have been worse. Given everything that happened, he’s in a really good place, and he seemed — he was a very mature young man, appreciative of how he was treated and the treatment he got, and just had a great attitude. I was really impressed with him,” Clawson said.

Perkins was injured on a special teams in the first quarter of Syracuse’s 41-24 win and had to be carted off the field. The senior switched from running back to defensive back before the season and has mainly been a special teams contributor during his time with the program. In five games this season, Perkins totaled six tackles.

Syracuse, now No. 13 in the College Football Playoff rankings, hosts Louisville on Friday night.

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