StephoneAnthony2Clemson, S,C.—Stephone Anthony, the top tackler on Clemson’s number-one ranked defense, was selected in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night. Anthony was the 31st selection of the draft and gave Clemson two first-round draft choices.

Earlier in the evening Vic Beasley was the eighth selection of the NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons. This marks just the third time Clemson has had two first round selections in the same draft, the first time in 33 years. In the 1982 NFL draft, defensive tackle Jeff Bryant and wide receiver Perry Tuttle were both first round selections.

Clemson also had two selections in the 1979 draft, as Jerry Butler was taken by the Buffalo Bills and Steve Fuller by the Kansas City Chiefs.

This is the first time Clemson has had two defensive players taken in the first round of the same draft. Many other members of Clemson’s 2014 defense are expected to be chosen on Friday and Saturday as the NFL Draft continues.

StephoneAnthony3Clemson now has had at least one first round draft pick in each of the last three years. Clemson, Texas A&M, Alabama , Florida State and Florida are the only schools who can make that claim.

Anthony is just the fourth player from Clemson to be selected by the New Orleans Saints, the first since the 1990 draft when wide receiver Gary Cooper was chosen in the 10th round. Cliff Austin was a third round selection in 1983 and Tony Stephens was taken in the third round in 1988.

The last former Tiger to play for the Saints is Anthony Waters, who was a linebacker on the Saints Super Bowl Championship team of the 2009 season.

Anthony will join former Clemson running back C.J. Spiller on the Saints roster in 2015. Spiller signed a free agent contract with the Saints earlier this off season.

Anthony was a first-team All-ACC linebacker this year who had 90 tackles in 2014. He also had 10.5 tackles for loss and led the Tigers in tackles in five of the 13 games.