Las Vegas Raiders' Clelin Ferrell Reveals How Military Family Helped His 'Growth as a Man' (Exclusive)

Clelin Ferrell has a ton of respect for military members. The 24-year-year Las Vegas Raiders defensive end grew up in a military family as his father worked two tours of duty in Vietnam, and his mother worked in Operation Desert Storm. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Ferrell talked about how growing up in a military family helped him become a better man. 

"It was big," Ferrell exclusive told PopCulture. "For me being very young, I'm the youngest of nine children. So by the time I was born, both my parents were already retired. So for me, I didn't really get to experience a lot of the actions I was a big one. They already had a million stories. So I just heard different war stories from my father. Just different stories about when my dad was in Germany or my mother was in Japan, just different ways. I think it was really because they were such cultured people and they experienced people from all different walks of life and it helped me, be on that same path as well to where I feel like I can, have a conversation with, a number of different people and it helped my growth as a man for sure."

While Ferrell hasn't served, he attended high school at Benedictine in Virginia, and it's a private military school. During his time at Benedictine, Ferrell was rated the No. 115 player and No. 7 defensive end in the nation by 247 Sports. He was also ranked the No. 5 player in the state of Virginia and finished his junior season with 60 tackles, 26 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. He missed his senior season due to an injury but went on to play college football at Clemson before being drafted No. 4 overall by the Raiders in the 2019 NFL Draft.

And speaking of the draft, Ferrell and his Raiders teammate Darren Waller hosted a Salute to Service special event at Allegiant Stadium before the 2022 NFL Draft with the help of USAA. The two Raiders stars met with Military members to talk football and signed autographs. "I've partnered with USAA before, doing the different Salute to Service events, whether it was the coins or whatnot, but it's a great opportunity today because me and Darren get a chance to come in, meet with about a hundred different service members from two different bases," Ferrell said.

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"Most of them be in air force and just get a chance to talk it up, talk it up about football or whatever different questions they may have and just, a meet and greet, let them get to, a lot of people only get to experience the NFL on TV. So it's a, a truly different thing when you can really get live side, you can really walk up on a player like, "This dude really big!" You know what I, "Or he can... " So it's, just a good thing cause I know, in football is something that brings this country together with the same way our military does. So it's major."