By Phil Anastasia
Glassboro senior running back Corey Clement announced Friday that he will attend the University of Wisconsin on a football scholarship.
Clement, South Jersey's all-time leading rusher with 5,590 yards, made the announcement during a ceremony in the Glassboro gymnasium in which he was given his game jersey to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl Jan. 4 in Carson, Cal.
Friday also is Clement's 18th birthday.
"Best day of my life," Clement said.
Clement, who also holds the SJ record for rushing yards in a game (478) and season (2,510) said he made his decision to attend Wisconsin during a visit there two weeks ago. He said he committed to Wisconsin at that time but decided to wait to make the announcement.
Clement said felt part of the Wisconsin family.
"The players wanted me, not just the coaches," Clement said. "I felt like I was part of the Badger family."
Clement said discussed his decision with former Overbrook star Ron Dayne, who won the Heisman Trophy as a Wisconsin running back.
Several other South Jersey players have attended Wisconsin over the last 15-20 years.
"It's a South Jersey connection," Clement said.
Clement was overwhelmed with emotion as he thanked teammates, coaches, family and friends during a pep rally in Glassboro's gymnasium.
"I had held everything in for so long and I finally let it out," Clement said.
Clement said he will not graduate early from Glassboro and enroll in Wisconsin in January. Previously, he had considered that option.
"I want to enjoy being a senior and rest my body," Clement said.
Clement has anywhere from three to five games remaining, depending on how far Glassboro (6-1) advances in the SJ Group 1 playoffs. He could finish second on the state's all-time rushing list with more than 6,500 career yards if Glassboro makes the SJ Group 1 finals the weekend of Dec. 7-8.
Glassboro plays at Gloucester Catholic on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Clement put a little suspense into his decision. He invited three teammates on the basketball court, each wearing a different hat -- Pitt, Notre Dame and Wisconsin.
After asking the player wearing the Pitt hat to return to the stands, Clement grabbed the Wisconsin hat and put it on.
He said his decision came down to Wisconsin and Notre Dame.
"I feel like at Wisconsin I can be 'the' guy and not just another guy," Clement said.
Contact staff writer Phil Anastasia at firstname.lastname@example.org or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter