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Healthy Mukuba has ‘different look in his eye’ after down year

Matt Mynes // Photo Editor
Andrew Mukuba GT

Clemson defensive back Andrew Mukuba was on the top of the world in 2021, winning ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year following an impressive freshman campaign. After an injury-riddled season in 2022, he hopes to return to his previous form.
Speaking to the media last week, Mukuba was adamant that he is finally healthy after dealing with multiple injuries last fall, including a sprained MCL.
“I feel good right now. This is probably the best I’ve felt in a while since I got here my freshman year,” Mukuba said. “The way I’m playing now and how I’m feeling, it just shows that I feel really healthy right now.”
The former four-star recruit was on the wrong end of numerous big plays last season, and injuries were a big reason why.
“I don’t think I was myself at all,” Mukuba said of last season. “A couple of games in, when I dislocated my elbow in practice, I was not the same no more. I wasn’t moving the same no more. It was just frustrating getting in my head and things like that. All of that plays a factor in how you perform on Saturday nights.”
Mukuba’s improved health has caught the attention of safeties coach Mickey Conn, who said he “is in a whole different place” this spring.
“I see a different look in his eye right now,” Conn said. “I think this spring he’s really taken a step forward with his leadership, his attitude and his mentality. He’s got that eye back.”
Although he played on the outside at times last season, the plan is for Mukuba to stay at safety or nickel in 2023, Conn said.
The Austin, Texas, native dealt with plenty of criticism last season, even though most were unaware of the extent of his injuries.
“I had a lot going on,” Mubuka added. “It was unbelievable to me because I had never been through that many injuries. It was crazy to me because there were injuries I had that nobody really knew about but me and obviously the training staff. Me being the person I am, I didn’t really let that affect me or set me back from going out there on the field and competing.”

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Justin Robertson
Justin Robertson, Associate Editor
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