Clemons is known worldwide as Springsteen’s sideman, but as a 6-foot-4, 250-pound offensive lineman at Maryland State, Clemons was Emerson Boozer’s sidekick. Boozer was a star running back there, and later with the Jets. He was a class behind Clemons, who came to Maryland State in 1960, but they quickly forged a close relationship.
“We were good friends,” Boozer said during a recent phone interview. “Running backs tend to gravitate to the linemen; they become your best buds, those are your protectors. They’re the ones who are going to help you move the ball up and down the field.”
Even as a freshman, Boozer said he recognized that Clemons had a gift for music and an unwavering commitment to mastering the horn. Boozer would often go to Clemons’s local gigs. “Even though I met him as a football player, he took his music more seriously than football,” Boozer said…