12/29: Quick Reaction: Clemson Clobbers ND in Cotton Bowl 30-3

Dallas, TX – The phrase “a game of two halves” is commonly said, but the Cotton Bowl was a game of two quarters. 

The first quarter was a defensive slugfest – neither team could take control despite the numerous opportunities. Clelin Ferrell’s early tackle, forced fumble, and fumble recovery of Ian Book near midfield was the first big play of the game. 

Clemson scored three points off the turnover (40-yd Huegel field goal), and Notre Dame responded by marching to the nine-yard line before settling for a 28-yard Justin Yoon field goal. 

Derion Kendrick returned Yoon’s subsequent kickoff to the fifteen-yard line, where he fumbled the ball. The original ruling was that Notre Dame recovered the ball, but the booth and the big screen in “Jerry’s World” overturned the call and stated that the fumble was out of bounds before Notre Dame recovered the football. 

The call was made by the thinnest of margins – no one knows if it was indisputably out of bounds or not. It was the first in a series of lucky events for the Tigers. Notre Dame suffered various injuries on defense, 

With star cornerback Julian Love absent, Lawrence threw a 52-yard sideline touchdown to fellow freshman Justyn Ross early in the second quarter. The extra point was blocked, and the score was an easily surmountable 9-3 lead for Clemson. When the Tigers next drive ended in a missed 49-yard field goal by Greg Huegel, questions still lingered. 

Clemson’s defense held on long enough to let the offense gain momentum, or Notre Dame buckled under the weight of injuries. Either way you spin it, Trevor Lawrence took control of the game, erased the questions, and never looked back. 

Notre Dame was exposed in the middle of the field by Lawrence’s second touchdown throw to Ross – a 42-yard throw to put Clemson up 16-3 with less than two minutes in the half.

Despite the star power of Lawrence and the passing attack, the ferocious Tiger defense kept Notre Dame in check throughout the first half. For one last time, they stymied the Irish’s scoring hopes and gave Clemson 48 seconds to score. 

When Renfrow’s 32-yard catch had a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty attached to it, the Tigers took their final time-out. They had nineteen yards and nine seconds to work with. 

Tee Higgins dropped a wide open touchdown pass earlier in the game, but he redeemed himself with an incredible catch of a spinning tipped ball in the back of the end zone. 

What was a 9-3 lead with 4:56 left in the first half was now a 23-3 lead entering halftime. Originally a slugfest, the Cotton Bowl was close to becoming a blowout. 

The third quarter was similar to the first – the main difference was the scoreboard. 

The first four drives of the half were fruitless, as Clemson couldn’t extend their lead and Ian Book couldn’t put the offense on his shoulders and come back from the deficit. 

As Notre Dame neared the red zone, Ian Book’s third-and-22 pass was snatched by Nolan Turner, with the sideline erupting for the lightly recruited safety. Three plays later, Etienne broke Wayne Gallman’s Clemson single-season rushing record with a 62-yard rushing touchdown to give Clemson a 30-3 lead with two minutes left in the third quarter.

In an odd and controversial occurance on the last play of the third quarter, Isaiah Simmons’ strip and scoop for a touchdown was ruled ineligible for review because it was labeled forward progress. While the outcome of the game was virtually decided, it was an interesting sequence of events that elicited cheers and boos throughout the stadium.

The fourth quarter was mostly uneventful as the Tigers finished the last fifteen minutes of football to ensure that they would play in the national championship for the third time in four years. 

12/29: Cotton Bowl Halftime Report

Score: Clemson 23 Notre Dame 3

Key Events:

Derion Kendrick’s kickoff return was initially ruled a fumble inside the ten, but it was overturned by a sliver (out of bounds) and thus Notre Dame lost a chance to make a 3-3 tie a 10-3 lead.

The game was a defensive slugfest until Julian Love left the game with an injury – Trevor Lawrence took advantage of his absence and threw a 52-yard touchdown to Justyn Ross, the first of three first-half touchdown throws. Clemson’s last touchdown with two seconds remaining may have been the dagger for the Irish.

Positives:

Trevor Lawrence has moved within the pocket well, evading defenders multiple times to fire off a pass. Justyn Ross has played exceptionally well as his current favorite target, with five catches, 137 yards, and two scores at the half.

Clemson’s defense held on while Clemson’s offense established a rhythm and built a lead – now the Tigers can play with their ears pinned back and even more aggressively.

Areas for Improvement:

Clemson’s pass protection is not doing Trevor Lawrence any favors. Despite his two scoring touchdowns, he has taken major hits that could impact his play in the second half.

The Tigers have made several poor plays on special teams: a barely overturned fumble on a kickoff return, a missed 49-yard field goal, a blocked extra point, and a punting average of 38 yards per punt make for a discouraging special teams performance.

What to Watch:

Clemson’s last touchdown with two seconds left in the half gave the Tigers a major boost into halftime. If Notre Dame wants to close the 20-point lead, they will need to have Julian Love and others healthy, and gain offensive momentum fast.

12/27: Cotton Bowl Preview

Unless Oklahoma wins the national championship, an undefeated team will win the national championship for the first time in the CFP’s five-year history. Furthermore, if Clemson or Alabama wins the champion will be the first 15-0 FBS National Champion. Two of the three undefeated teams will face off in the infamous stadium known as “Jerry’s World” as the Cotton Bowl hosts Clemson and Notre Dame. 

Each team has faced adversity throughout the year, but this will be each team’s toughest test. Notre Dame has the signature win against a highly ranked opponent that Clemson does not have – a 24-17 win against Michigan in the season opener. On the other hand, Clemson played an extra game when they defeated Pittsburgh in the ACC Championship game.

To get the elephant out of the way – it is unlikely that Dexter Lawrence, Braden Galloway, or Zach Giella will play in the Cotton Bowl. Coach Swinney expressed his support for the trio as they tested positive for trace amounts of a banned substance likely found in dietary supplements (unmarked). Losing junior draft prospect Dexter Lawrence will hurt Clemson significantly in the Cotton Bowl, while losing current role players Giella and Galloway will hurt in 2019 as they will likely face a one-year suspension. While the suspensions are unfortunate, Clemson has depth at the defensive tackle position to handle the loss of Lawrence.

Both teams changed quarterbacks midstream from more run-centric players to more pass-centric players and subsequently transformed their offenses into complete threats. Both of senior quarterbacks lead their teams to signature wins (Notre Dame vs Michigan, Clemson at Texas A&M). Notre Dame’s junior Ian Book replaced Brandon Wimbush while Clemson’s true freshman Trevor Lawrence replaced Kelly Bryant. 

Notre Dame runs the ball slightly more than Clemson, and they tend to rely on one running back. Dexter Williams is Notre Dame’s starting running back, and he has averaged almost eighteen attempts per game in his eight games. Clemson utilizes more running backs than Notre Dame, as Etienne only carries the ball 13.5 times per game. 

 In the passing game, both teams are formidable but the storyline is flipped. Clemson passes more than Notre Dame and uses more receivers (eight WRs with ten or more catches), whereas Notre Dame relies on their three main wide receivers more often. What Notre Dame has that Clemson lacks is a true threat from the tight end in the passing game – Alize Mack has 34 catches on the year, which is almost double the seventeen catches Clemson’s tight ends have combined in 2018.

While both defensive and offensive lines for both teams are quality, Clemson holds the advantage in the trenches. Clemson’s incredibly deep defensive line will cause problems for any offensive line, especially one that is good but not elite like Notre Dame’s. 

The Irish have an excellent passing defense, but in order to take advantage of it they will have to make Trevor Lawrence uncomfortable in the pocket (see the first half of the Boston College game). While the Irish have two excellent defensive ends in Julian Okwara and Khalid Kareem, it takes more than two linemen to generate a pass rush for sixty minutes. 

Notre Dame’s back seven is among the best in the nation, with Julian Love as an elite corner and Jerry Tillery as an elite linebacker. Their linebackers are capable of containing Clemson’s run game, and their secondary is a big reason why they boast an elite passing defense. This will be the Tigers’ toughest test on defense, as there is no weak link to exploit.

The pundits and bookies think that Clemson should win this game easily, and on paper it looks as if they should. Championship football is usually close though, and in that case special teams plays a vital role. The Tigers have been up and down on special teams this year, and they need an elite performance on special teams to win if the game is close.  

Oddshark’s projected score is Clemson 45.8 – Notre Dame 31, and Clemson is favored by 12.5 points. The over/under is 56.5, and sixty percent of the bets have been placed on the over. 

Prediction: Clemson 31 Notre Dame 17

Skalski Named to Butkus Watch List

CHICAGO – (July 20, 2020) – The Butkus Award® honoring the nation’s best linebackers kicked off its 36th annual selection process today by announcing its collegiate and high school preseason watch lists.

 

Each watch list contains 51 linebackers, mirroring the legendary “51” pro jersey associated with the Award’s namesake Dick Butkus, who was recognized by NFL Films as the best defensive player in football history.

 

The Collegiate Butkus Award watch list includes candidates from 44 universities, including 2019 finalist Micah Parsons of Penn State and 2018 finalist Dylan Moses of Alabama who won the 2016 high school Butkus Award.

 

The High School Butkus Award watch list includes candidates from 47 secondary schools across 21 states, with Florida (7), Georgia (5) and North Carolina (5) fielding the most candidates.

 

Semi-finalists are expected to be named November 2, finalists November 23, and winners on or before December 8. Appearing on the watch list is not a requirement to win the award.

 

The 2019 Butkus Award winners:
• Collegiate: Isaiah Simmons, Clemson (now Arizona Cardinals)
• High School: Justin Flowe, Upland, Calif. (now Oregon)

 

Formed in 1985 and expanded in 2008, the Butkus Award honors linebackers at three levels while supporting causes important to the Butkus family. They include the I Play Clean® initiative promoting training and nutrition instead of performance-enhancing drugs, and the Butkus Takes Heart™ initiative encouraging early cardiovascular screening among adults.

 

The Butkus Award, www.thebutkusaward.com, @ButkusAward2020 and on Facebook at 51.butkus, is presented by the nonprofit Butkus Foundation. Selectors and selection criteria are located on the official website. Search social media for #butkusaward2020.

 

About the National College Football Awards Association
The Butkus Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about the association.

 

The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a two-week period this month. Fourteen of the association’s awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the complete 2020 preseason watch list calendar:

  • Mon., July 13: Bednarik Award
  • Tues., July 14: Davey O’Brien Award
  • Wed., July 15: Doak Walker Award
  • Thurs., July 16: Biletnikoff Award
  • Fri., July 17: Mackey Award
  • Mon., July 20: Butkus Award & Paycom Jim Thorpe Award
  • Tues., July 21: Bronko Nagurski Trophy & Outland Trophy
  • Wed., July 22: Lou Groza Award & Ray Guy Award
  • Thurs., July 23: Paul Hornung Award & Wuerffel Trophy
  • Fri., July 24: Maxwell Award

ACC Commissioner John Swofford Announces Retirement

ACC Commissioner John Swofford

Now in his 23rd year as Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner, John Swofford continues to make a dramatic impact on the ACC and throughout college athletics. As the ACC’s longest-tenured Commissioner, Swofford has been part of the conference for more than five decades as a student-athlete and administrator.

A native of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, and a two-year all-state quarterback at Wilkes Central High, Swofford remains the only player to have his number retired by the school after earning Most Valuable Player honors in football, basketball and track.

After being recruited by numerous schools to play football, Swofford attended the University of North Carolina on a Morehead Scholarship as part of head coach Bill Dooley’s first recruiting class. In addition to earning a spot on the ACC Academic Honor Roll as a student-athlete, he started at quarterback as a sophomore and part of his junior year, and then finished his career as a defensive back for UNC’s 1971 ACC Championship team. He played in the Peach Bowl as a junior and the Gator Bowl as a senior.

Swofford received his Master’s in Athletics Administration from Ohio University. His first job in college athletics came at the University of Virginia — where he worked under future ACC Commissioner Gene Corrigan — before returning to North Carolina. In 1980, at the age of 31, Swofford was named the athletics director at his alma mater. He held that post for 17 years, a period in which North Carolina claimed more ACC and NCAA Championships than during any athletics director’s tenure in ACC history, and claimed the 1994 Sears Directors’ Cup, awarded to the top overall athletics program in the nation. Swofford also hired six head coaches that went on to win national championships — five at North Carolina and football coach Mack Brown at the University of Texas. In 1981, he hired the first African American head coach in the ACC, track and field coach Hubert West.

As Commissioner, Swofford has successfully guided the ACC through turbulent times in college athletics and has led the league’s expansion from nine to 15 schools. Under his leadership, the ACC has remained at the forefront of college athletics, winning 91 national titles during his 22 years as Commissioner.

Under the leadership of Swofford, the ACC has received unprecedented levels of national television exposure. One of most significant initiatives in conference history, the launch of ACC Network on August 22, 2019, is a partnership between ESPN and the ACC. The 20-year collaboration, which began with the inception of ACC Network Extra in the fall of 2016, will provide ACC fans exceptional access to live events via a comprehensive, multi-platform network, while extending the conference’s existing rights agreement with ESPN as the conference’s exclusive worldwide rights holder through 2036.

In May 2019, the inaugural ACC Mental Health and Wellness Summit was held to explore strategies and best practices for mental health care for student-athletes at each institution. The summit also identified ways to reduce the stigma of mental illness and promote access to mental health services.

Approved in January of 2015, Swofford was a leading advocate for NCAA legislation that allows Autonomy 5 conferences to better address the needs of their institutions, athletic programs and student-athletes. In April of 2013, Swofford and the leadership of the ACC’s member institutions spearheaded a grant of rights agreement that helped stabilize the college athletic landscape and further secured the league’s position as one of the nation’s premier conferences.

Swofford oversaw the creation of the ACC Football Championship Game and played a key role in the evolution of the postseason structure to today’s College Football Playoff. The ACC Bowl affiliations have been tremendously enhanced under his watch.

He was instrumental in starting the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, now an early-season staple for both men’s and women’s college basketball. He created the ACC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in 1999 and launched the ACC Community Outreach Program.

Swofford is a member of four Halls of Fame — the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame; the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame; the Chick-fil-A Bowl Hall of Fame; and the Wilkes County Hall of Fame. He has been awarded the Corbett Award, which is the highest administrative honor given nationally to a collegiate athletics administrator. Swofford has received the Homer Rice Award from the Division 1A Athletic Directors’ Association and is a recipient of the Ohio University Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 2011, he also received one of Greensboro’s Father of the Year Awards.

Swofford and his wife, Nora, reside in Greensboro, North Carolina. Together, they have three children — Autumn and her husband, Sherman Wooden, who have three children, Maya, Lyla and Lincoln; Chad and his wife, Caitlyn, who have one child, Owen; and Amie and her husband, Mike Caudle, who have two children, Emerson and Colson.

————-

Personal Information
Full Name: John Douglas Swofford
Hometown: North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Wife: Nora Swofford
Children: Autumn (husband Sherman Wooden), Chad (wife Caitlyn), Amie (husband Mike Caudle)
Grandchildren: Maya, Lyla, Lincoln, Emerson, Owen, Colson

Education
High School: Wilkes Central High School, 1967, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
College: University of North Carolina, 1971
Morehead Scholarship Recipient • BA in Industrial Relations
Graduate: Ohio University, 1973 • MEd. in Athletics Administration

Playing Experience
1965-67
• Two-time All-State QB and three-sport MVP at Wilkes Central High School
1969-71
• North Carolina varsity football team QB and DB
• Peach Bowl, 1970
• Gator Bowl, 1971
• ACC Champions, 1971
• ACC Academic Honor Roll, 1970-71

Athletic Administration Experience
1973-76
• Ticket Manager/Asst. to the Director of Athletic Facilities and Finance, University of Virginia
1976-79
• Assistant Athletics Director and Business Manager, University of North Carolina
1979-80
• Assistant Executive Vice-President of the Educational Foundation, University of North Carolina
1980-97
• Director of Athletics, University of North Carolina
1997-present
• Commissioner, Atlantic Coast Conference

Membership on Boards & Committees
• National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Board, 2016-present
• National Sports Media Association Honorary Board, 2009-present
• North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame Advisory Board, 2008-present
• Wyndham Championship Board of Directors, 2002-present
• Greensboro Sports Commission Board of Directors, 1997-present
• NCAA Men’s College Basketball Officiating, LLC Board, 2010-2012
• College Football Officiating, LLC Board of Managers, 2008-2012
• National Letter of Intent Appeals Committee, 2002-2012
• Sports Business Journal’s Sports Business Awards Committee, 2011
• BCS Coordinator, 2000-01, 2008-09
• IA Collegiate Commissioners’ Association (Chair), 2005-07
• NCAA Football Board of Directors (President), 2004-05
• NCAA Executive Committee, 1995-97
• NCAA Division I Championship Committee (Chair), 1995-97
• NCAA Special Committee to Study a DI-A Football Championship, 1994-95
• President of NACDA, 1993-94
• NCAA Special Events Committee, 1987-91
• NCAA Communications Committee (Chair), 1987-89
• NCAA Football Television Committee 1982-86; (Chair), 1984-86

Honors & Awards
• Sports Business Journal’s Top 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business, 2019
• Triad Power Player, 2018 and 2019 (recognized by the Triad Sports Business Journal)
• Corbett Award, 2011 (presented annually by NACDA as the highest honor in collegiate athletics administration)
• Achievement in Business Award, 2011 (presented annually by Ohio University’s College of Business)
• Father of the Year, 2011 (recognized by the Greater Greensboro Area Father’s Day Council)
• North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, 2009
• Homer Rice Award, 2005 (presented by the Division 1A Athletic Directors’ Association)
• Horizon Award, 2004 (presented by the Atlanta Sports Council recognizing the National Sports Business Executive of the Year)
• Chick-fil-A Bowl Hall of Fame, 2003
• Fifth most influential person in U.S. sports by The Sporting News, 2003
• Outstanding American Award by the Triangle Chapter of the College Football Hall of Fame, 2002
• North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s Hall of Fame, 2002
• Ohio University’s Charles R. Higgins Distinguished Alumnus Award, 1984

Clemson Finishes 2020 NFL Draft With Seven Total Selections

Simpson, Wallace, Anchrum all selected on Day 3

 

CLEMSON, S.C. — The Day 3 selections of guard John Simpson by the Las Vegas Raiders, safety K’Von Wallace by the Philadelphia Eagles and offensive lineman Tremayne Anchrum by the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday brought Clemson’s total number of draftees in the 2020 NFL Draft to seven.

 

The seven Clemson selections in the 2020 NFL Draft pushed Clemson’s number of draft picks over the last five years to 31, adding to what is now the most-prolific five-year stretch of drafts in school history. Six of Clemson’s seven 2020 picks were selected in the first four rounds, breaking the program’s previous four-round record of five, set previously five times in 1991, 2011, 2016, 2017 and 2019.

 

For the third straight day, Clemson fans didn’t have to wait long to watch a former Tiger be selected. After Isaiah Simmons was selected with the eighth pick of Day 1 and Tee Higgins was selected with the first pick of Day 2, the Raiders selected Simpson with the third pick of Day 3. At No. 109 overall, Simpson’s selection marked the Raiders’ second pick from Clemson in a span of nine picks, representing the shortest span of picks between selecting two Clemson players in school history, passing the 14 picks between the Denver Broncos’ selections of Nick Eason and Bryant McNeal in 2003.

 

Wallace became the second Clemson player to be selected on Day 3, going to the Eagles at No. 127 overall. It marked the third time in history that the Eagles have selected a Clemson defensive back, starting in 1996, when the franchise drafted Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins.

 

The Rams selected Anchrum in the seventh round with the No. 250 overall pick, as Anchrum will head to Los Angeles, where his father, Tremayne Anchrum Sr., played basketball at the University of Southern California. With the selections of both Simpson and Anchrum, Clemson produced multiple offensive linemen in a single draft for the first time since 1998 (Glenn Rountree and Jim Bundren).

 

Draft notes and comments from Clemson coaches from Day 3 of the 2020 NFL Draft included below.

 

CLEMSON NOTES

  • Clemson has now produced a school-record 31 NFL Draft picks in the last five years, surpassing the 29 drafted across both the 2013-17 and 2015-19 drafts.
  • Clemson produced at least six draft picks for the fourth time in five years. Clemson is one of only three schools with five or more picks in at least six of the seven most recent drafts (Alabama and Ohio State).
  • Clemson’s seven picks were its fourth-most in a single draft in program history, trailing 1983 (10), 2016 (nine) and 1991 (eight). The seven selections in 2020 are Clemson’s second-most in the seven-round era, trailing the nine selections in 2016.
  • Clemson finished tied for fifth in the nation in 2020 NFL Draft picks. Clemson led the ACC, three players ahead of Miami, which finished second in the conference with four.
  • Head Coach Dabo Swinney (64) moved into second among active head coaches in total draft picks since the 2009 NFL Draft, trailing only Alabama’s Nick Saban.
  • Clemson watched teammates be selected by the same NFL team in a single draft for the 18th time, joining the 1946, 1951, 1955, 1959, 1960, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1979, 1983, 1991, 1998, 2003, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019 drafts.
  • Clemson has now produced multiple first-round picks in back-to-back years for the first time in program history. Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma were the only schools to produce multiple first-round picks in both the 2019 and 2020 NFL Drafts.
  • Clemson produced multiple first-round picks on defense for the second year in a row, the two of three instances of multiple first-round defenders in school history. Clemson had two offensive players selected in the 1979 and 2017 first rounds, two defensive players selected in 2015, and had one offensive and one defensive player selected in 1982.
  • Clemson produced two Top 16 picks for the third time in school history and the third time in four drafts, joining the 2017 (Mike Williams and Deshaun Watson) and 2019 (Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins) drafts.
  • Clemson has now had at least one first-round selection in seven of the last eight NFL Drafts. Clemson is now one of only three schools with at least one first-round pick in at least seven of the last eight drafts, alongside Alabama and Florida.
  • Clemson produced four players in the first three rounds of a draft for the fourth time in school history, matching school records for the first three rounds set in the 1991, 2016 and 2019 drafts. Clemson has now produced four players in the first three rounds of consecutive drafts for the first time in program history.
  • Clemson’s six selections through the first four rounds were the most in a draft in school history. The previous record of five had been set five times, including in 1991, 2011, 2016, 2017 and 2019.
  • Clemson produced multiple draft picks from the offensive line for the first time since 1998 (Glenn Rountree and Jim Bundren).
  • Clemson extended its streak of consecutive drafts with at least one selection to 18 since 2003, representing the second-longest streak in school history behind a 24-year streak across the 1951-74 NFL Drafts.
  • Clemson has had at least one player selected by 29 of the 32 NFL franchises since 2003. The lone exceptions in that time frame are the Patriots, who last selected a Clemson player in 1991, and the Panthers and Ravens, who have never selected a Clemson player.
  • The draft was the final one to feature members of the starting lineup of Clemson’s 2018 defense that led the nation in scoring defense en route to winning the national championship. Those 11 starters accounted for five first-round picks, a second-round pick, a third-round pick, two fourth-round picks, a college free agent signing and a rookie minicamp tryout invitee (plus two additional college free agent signings who were not primary starters).

 

SIMPSON NOTES

  • Became the 62nd player to have played for Head Coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the 13th fourth-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.
  • Became the first Clemson offensive lineman drafted since Brandon Thomas’ selection in the third round (No. 100 overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft.
  • Represents the fifth-highest Clemson offensive lineman selected in the NFL Draft in the Common Draft era since 1967, trailing Harry Olszewski (No. 64 in 1968), Joe Bostic (No. 64 in 1979), Wayne Mass (No. 99 in 1968) and Thomas (No. 100 in 2014). It makes Simpson the third-highest Clemson offensive lineman selected since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.
  • Was the 11th Clemson player selected by the Raiders all-time, including an AFL Draft and Supplemental Draft selection. Prior to last year, the Raiders had gone nine years since their most recent selection from Clemson (Jacoby Ford in 2010). The Raiders have since drafted five Clemson players across the 2019-20 drafts.
  • Made the Raiders the first franchise ever to select multiple Clemson players in back-to-back drafts and made them the first franchise to select five Clemson players in a two-draft span.
  • Set a Clemson record for the shortest span between two Clemson players being picked by one team by virtue of being selected nine picks after the Raiders also selected Tanner Muse. The previous one-team span had been 14 picks, set by the Denver Broncos in 2003 when they selected Nick Eason and Bryant McNeal 14 picks apart.
  • Became Clemson’s second player selected with the No. 109 overall pick all-time, joining LB B.J. Goodson (2016).

 

WALLACE NOTES

  • Became the 63rd player to have played for Head Coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the 14th fourth-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.
  • Became the 15th defensive back (and sixth safety) selected in the Swinney era, dating back to the 2009 NFL Draft. Clemson has now had at least one defensive back selected in 10 of the last 12 NFL drafts.
  • Became Clemson’s third player selected with the No. 127 overall pick all-time, joining DT Archie Reese (1878) and DE Mallicah Goodman (2013).
  • Became the Eagles’ 12th selection from Clemson all-time and Philadelphia’s first since selecting DE Ricky Sapp in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
  • Represents the third Clemson defensive back selected by the Eagles all-time, including when Philadelphia selected Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins in the 1996 NFL Draft.

 

ANCHRUM NOTES

  • Became the 64th player to have played for Head Coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the fifth seventh-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.
  • Joins Chris Hairston (2011), Brandon Thomas (2014) and John Simpson (2020) as offensive linemen selected in Swinney’s tenure.
  • Became the first Clemson player ever selected with the No. 250 overall pick.
  • Represents the Rams’ 12th all-time selection from Clemson, including the team’s first since selecting DT Dorrell Scott in 2009. He is the fifth Clemson offensive lineman selected among that group and the first since C Dustin Fry in 2007.
  • Became the first Clemson player selected by the Rams in Los Angeles since P Dale Hatcher in 1985. The Rams’ six most recent selections from Clemson prior to Anchrum came during the organization’s stint in St. Louis before returning to Los Angeles.
  • Will play in Los Angeles, where his father, Tremayne Anchrum Sr., played basketball at the University of Southern California.

 

COMMENTS ON SIMPSON

 

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “John Simpson was a captain and a graduate and is as good of an offensive lineman as we’ve had come through Clemson—going on 18 years, my 18th season—as good an offensive lineman as I’ve seen here. He’s ready-made. He’s what everybody’s looking for at the next level. He’s got all the measurables that everybody’s looking for as far as the strength, size, athleticism, flexibility and power. He’s been a great player for us. He’s played against the best of the best. I’m excited about his continued development at the next level.”

 

OFFENSIVE LINE COACH ROBBIE CALDWELL: “John Simpson is a big guy and mighty powerful. He brings an athleticism to the Raiders that is very special for a guy his size. I think he’s going to help the Raiders in the run and the pass game.”

 

COMMENTS ON WALLACE

 

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “K’Von Wallace is a graduate and was one of the most underrated guys probably in this draft. He’s kind of a Swiss Army knife as well. He’s kind of like Marcus Gilchrist in that he can play either safety, he can play nickel, he can play dime, and he can truly play corner. He does all the dirty work and he doesn’t mind doing it. He can blitz. He’ll come fill the gaps in the run game. He’s an excellent special teams player. High character, a captain, and one of the most energetic guys you’re going to have on your team and just a guy I think is going to make somebody a heck of a player. There is really nothing he can’t do. He can run. He’s got good size, strength, power and great versatility. He, along with Isaiah Simmons and Tanner Muse, do all the same things, just in a different way. He’s a true safety that can play corner. He’s got the toughness to go up in the box and the nickel and dime spots as well.”

 

SAFETIES COACH MICKEY CONN: “K’Von Wallace is a highly motivated football player. He’s smart and very instinctive player. He can play multiple positions. He can play safety, he can play nickel, he can play corner, and he plays them all really well. He is extremely determined to succeed. He will learn the playbook and he will get the job done; he’ll learn it early too because he’s extremely smart. He’ll be great on special teams, and he’ll make a huge impact. He’s a very unselfish player and willing to take on whatever role is best for the team. He’s a great team player and pulls for his teammates. He’s a very, very unselfish person and a winner, and that’s what they’re getting in taking K’Von Wallace.”

 

COMMENTS ON ANCHRUM

 

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “Tremayne Anchrum was a very underrated guy in this draft. He has been a four-year starter out of position and has played against the best of the best from Chase Young to Clelin Ferrell and everybody in between. He’s incredibly smart, very athletic, strong, and has a great football I.Q. He is another guy that’s going to change a locker room from a leadership standpoint. He is a captain and a graduate. He brings a lot of versatility to the offensive line because he can play tackle, obviously, because he started for us at this level for four years, but I think he’s got a chance to really make a really good guard at the next level.”

 

OFFENSIVE LINE COACH ROBBIE CALDWELL: “Tremayne can play several positions and is going to bring an intelligence factor to the Rams. He can play left or right and also has the ability and the knowledge to play center as well.”

Higgins, Muse Selected on Day 2 of 2020 NFL Draft

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins (No. 33 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals) and safety Tanner Muse (No. 100 overall to the Las Vegas Raiders) were both selected on Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft on Friday evening. Including the selections of linebacker Isaiah Simmons and cornerback A.J. Terrell on Thursday, Clemson now has four selections through the first three rounds of this year’s draft.

 

“Wide Receiver U” took center stage as Day 2 commenced. The Bengals selected Higgins with the evening’s first pick, pushing Clemson’s nation-leading and school-record number of consecutive drafts with a wide receiver selected to five. The two-time All-ACC selection became the ninth Clemson receiver selected in the NFL Draft since 2013.

 

The Raiders have become a frequent destination for Clemson draft picks in recent years and added to that association with the selection of Muse in the third round. Including the Raiders’ selections of Clelin Ferrell, Trayvon Mullen and Hunter Renfrow in the 2019 NFL Draft and Muse’s selection this year, the Raiders became the first NFL franchise to draft four Clemson players in a two-draft span since the New York Giants in the 1983-84 drafts.

 

The 2020 NFL Draft will resume at noon ET on Saturday with Rounds 4-7. Notes and comments from Clemson coaches following each selection are available on ClemsonTigers.com Draft Central.

 

Draft notes and comments from Clemson coaches from Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft included below.

 

CLEMSON NOTES

  • With four rounds remaining in the 2020 NFL Draft, Clemson has now produced 28 NFL Draft picks in the last five years, one shy of the 29 drafted across both the 2013-17 and 2015-19 drafts.
  • Clemson produced four players in the first three rounds of a draft for the fourth time in school history, matching school records for the first three rounds set in the 1991, 2016 and 2019 drafts. Clemson has now produced four players in the first three rounds of consecutive drafts for the first time in program history.
  • Clemson has now produced multiple first-round picks in back-to-back years for the first time in program history. Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma are the only schools to have produced multiple first-round picks in both the 2019 and 2020 NFL Drafts.
  • Clemson has now produced multiple first-round picks in back-to-back years for the first time in program history. Twenty-six picks into the 2020 NFL Draft, Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma are the only schools to have produced multiple first-round picks in both the 2019 and 2020 NFL Drafts.
  • Clemson produced multiple first-round picks on defense for the second year in a row, the two of three instances of multiple first-round defenders in school history. Clemson had two offensive players selected in the 1979 and 2017 first rounds, two defensive players selected in 2015, and had one offensive and one defensive player selected in 1982.
  • Clemson produced two Top 16 picks for the third time in school history and the third time in four drafts, joining the 2017 (Mike Williams and Deshaun Watson) and 2019 (Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins) drafts.
  • Clemson has now had at least one first-round selection in seven of the last eight NFL Drafts. Clemson is now one of only three schools with at least one first-round pick in at least seven of the last eight drafts, alongside Alabama and Florida.
  • Clemson extended its streak of consecutive drafts with at least one selection to 18 since 2003, representing the second-longest streak in school history behind a 24-year streak across the 1951-74 NFL Drafts.

HIGGINS NOTES

  • Became the 60th player to have played for Head Coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the ninth second-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.
  • Was the 10th wide receiver in Swinney’s head coaching tenure to be drafted into the NFL. He was the 14th Clemson wide receiver under Swinney’s guidance to be drafted including Swinney’s stint as wide receivers coach from 2003-08.
  • Represents Clemson’s ninth draft pick at wide receiver since 2013. Clemson’s eight previous selections at wide receiver from across the 2013-19 NFL Drafts were tied for the most in the country.
  • Extended Clemson’s school-record number of consecutive drafts with a wide receiver selected to five. It is presently the nation’s longest active streak (Note: Georgia can tie this streak with a selection this year).
  • Gave Clemson at least one receiver selected in seven of the last eight NFL Drafts, dating to DeAndre Hopkins’ selection in 2013.
  • Became the first offensive player from Clemson selected in the second round since the Seattle Seahawks selected WR Doug Thomas in 1991. Clemson’s previous 17 second-round picks had been defensive players, including the previous eight who all played under Head Coach Dabo Swinney.
  • Was the fourth Clemson player selected by the Bengals all-time, joining TE Jim Riggs (1987), DT Donald Broomfield (1999) and DT Brandon Thompson (2012). Was Clemson’s second No. 33 overall selection all-time, joining DE Kevin Dodd’s 2016 selection by the Tennessee Titans. 

 

MUSE NOTES

  • Became the 61st player to have played for Head Coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the sixth third-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.
  • Became the 15th defensive back (and sixth safety) selected in the Swinney era, dating back to the 2009 NFL Draft.
  • Was the 10th Clemson player selected by the Raiders all-time, including an AFL Draft and Supplemental Draft selection. Prior to last year, the Raiders had gone nine years since their most recent selection from Clemson (Jacoby Ford in 2010). The Raiders have since drafted four Clemson players across the 2019-20 drafts.
  • Gave Clemson selections by the Raiders in back-to-back drafts for the first time since 1992-93, when the then-Los Angeles Raiders selected DT Chester McGlockton and CB James Trapp in consecutive drafts.
  • Made the Raiders the first team to select four Clemson players in a two-draft span since the New York Giants in 1983-84.
  • Represents the third No. 100 overall selection in Clemson history, joining T Brandon Thomas (2014) and LB Dorian O’Daniel (2018).

COMMENTS ON HIGGINS

 

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “Tee Higgins is as complete a receiver as we’ve had come out of Clemson. I think he’s in the same category as Williams when it comes to being a complete receiver and you’re talking about size, speed, athleticism, catch radius, ball skills, ability to lean on people, body control and all of those type of things. He’s as complete a receiver as we’ve had come out of here. Tee is a great kid and a Day One starter.”

 

WIDE RECEIVERS COACH TYLER GRISHAM: “Tee is a consistently hard-working young man. For a high-profile guy and just a naturally talented player, it comes easy to him, but he doesn’t rest on his laurels and wants to improve every day. He’s a great practice player, which shows up on game day. Being so tall, he can win on jump balls. Having a basketball background, he’s able to time up those jump balls well, but for being a tall guy, he runs routes like he’s a 5’10” or 6’0” guy and has great top-end speed. His ability to get in and out of his breaks with ease is uncommon for a 6’4” receiver. He has phenomenal hands, but what gets overlooked is his toughness and strength. He was one of our best blockers because he has the tools and he cares and has the ‘want-to’ to do his job and help his teammates out. As a person, he’s a kind and respectful young man. He’s got a great smile and an innocence to him, and he’s known as a great teammate who is loved by his peers.”

 

COMMENTS ON MUSE

 

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “Tanner Muse is a poor man’s version of Isaiah Simmons, and what I mean by that is he’s not 6’4’’, but he’s very similar to Isaiah in that he can do a lot of things. In a day and age where everybody’s looking for a hybrid guy, he is the ultimate hybrid guy. He was a great safety for us but has the confidence to play linebacker and has elite speed. He can run with anybody. I think he’s a guy that has a chance to be an All-Pro special teams player. I think he’s got that type of impact. He’s a core special teams guy. He’s incredibly smart — a fifth-year senior, graduate, great leader, captain, and is going to really make somebody a heck of a football player. He’s got great energy and brings great energy and enthusiasm every single day and is excited about his opportunity coming up. It’s the same thing as Isaiah: He’s got versatility, he can do a lot of things and he can really, really run.”

 

SAFETIES COACH MICKEY CONN: “The Raiders are getting an unbelievable talent. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast, he’s physical. He’s just an incredible player. He’s a great leader. He can flat run. People have no idea how fast this guy is at his size. You’re talking about a guy who is 230 pounds that can run a 4.3 40-yard dash. He’s physical, aggressive and smart. He’s going to learn the defense. He knows he’s going to be very detailed in the understanding of the defense. Tanner is a student of the game and is going to be well-prepared. He’s more athletic than people give him credit for and he’s going to be an All-Pro on special teams early on. He can play all the special teams to start with and he’ll make a huge impact. And not only can he play safety, but he can play linebacker, he can play nickel, he could probably play defensive end. I mean, the guy is an unbelievable talent and he’s a winner and just a great leader for his team.”

 

Simmons, Terrell Selected in First Round of 2020 NFL Draft

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons (No. 8 overall to the Arizona Cardinals) and cornerback A.J. Terrell (No. 16 overall to the Atlanta Falcons) were both selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday evening. With their selections, Clemson has now produced multiple first-round picks in back-to-back drafts for the first time in program history.

 

One year after placing three defensive players in the first 17 selections of the 2019 NFL Draft, Clemson’s multiple selections from its defense in the 2020 NFL Draft made Clemson the only defense in the country to produce multiple first-rounders in each of the last two drafts.

 

Simmons’ selection by the Cardinals at No. 8 gave Clemson a selection in the first 10 picks in back-to-back drafts for the third time in program history after Clelin Ferrell was selected with the No. 4 overall pick a year ago. Clemson has previously produced Top 10 selections in consecutive drafts in 1982 (Jeff Bryant) and 1983 (Terry Kinard) and 2014 (Sammy Watkins) and 2015 (Vic Beasley).

 

Terrell became the third-highest cornerback selected in Clemson history, trailing only selections by Donnell Woolford (No. 11 by Chicago in 1989) and Tye Hill (No. 15 by St. Louis in 2006). Terrell, an Atlanta native, becomes the first Clemson player drafted by his home-state team since 2015, when the Falcons took Georgia natives Vic Beasley and Grady Jarrett on Day 1 and Day 3 of the draft, respectively.

 

The 2020 NFL Draft will resume at 7 p.m. ET on Friday with Rounds 2-3. Notes and comments from Clemson coaches following each selection are available on ClemsonTigers.com Draft Central.

 

Draft notes and comments from Clemson coaches from Day 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft included below.

 

CLEMSON NOTES

  • Clemson has now produced multiple first-round picks in back-to-back years for the first time in program history. Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma are the only schools to have produced multiple first-round picks in both the 2019 and 2020 NFL Drafts.
  • Clemson produced two Top 16 picks for the third time in school history and the third time in four drafts, joining the 2017 (Mike Williams and Deshaun Watson) and 2019 (Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins) drafts.
  • Clemson produced multiple first-round picks on defense for the second year in a row, the only two such instances in school history. Clemson had two offensive players selected in the 1979 and 2017 first rounds, and had one offensive and one defensive player selected in 1982.
  • Clemson has now had at least one first-round selection in seven of the last eight NFL Drafts. Clemson is now one of only three schools with at least one first-round pick in at least seven of the last eight drafts, alongside Alabama and Florida.
  • Clemson extended its streak of consecutive drafts with at least one selection to 18 since 2003, representing the second-longest streak in school history behind a 24-year streak across the 1951-74 NFL Drafts.

 

SIMMONS NOTES

  • Became the 58th player to have played for Head Coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the 12th first-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.
  • Represents Clemson’s 33rd first-round pick in the NFL Draft all-time, dating to Banks McFadden’s selection by the NFL’s Brooklyn Dodgers with the fourth overall pick in the 1940 NFL Draft.
  • Became the 15th Clemson player selected by the Cardinals all-time, the third-most of any franchise. He is the Cardinals’ first selection from Clemson since running back Andre Ellington in the 2013 NFL Draft.
  • Surpasses Harold Olson (No. 13 overall in 1960) as the highest pick from Clemson in Cardinals history. Simmons became the first first-round pick from Clemson in Cardinals history, as the 1960 NFL Draft featuring Olson only included 12 teams.
  • Joined Vic Beasley (2015) as the only No. 8 overall selections in Clemson history. Simmons is now tied with Beasley for the ninth-highest selection in Clemson.
  • Became Clemson’s 12th Top 10 pick all-time and, including the No. 4 overall pick of Clelin Ferrell last year, gave Clemson back-to-back drafts with a Top 10 selection for the third time in Clemson history (1982-83 with Jeff Bryant and Terry Kinard; Sammy Watkins and Vic Beasley in 2014-15).
  • Became the first Clemson linebacker selected in the first round since Stephone Anthony in 2015 (No. 31 by the New Orleans Saints). Coincidentally, now three of Clemson’s four linebackers (excluding edge-rusher DE/LB hybrids like Vic Beasley) selected in the first round all-time have had the surname Simmons, including Wayne Simmons in 1993 and Anthony Simmons in 1998.
  • His selection marks the third straight draft in which a defensive player was the first Clemson player selected. The last offensive player to be the first Clemson player selected in a draft was wide receiver Mike Williams (No. 7 overall in 2017).
  • Prior to Simmons’ selection Thursday, the most recent Clemson linebacker selected was Dorian O’Daniel in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. O’Daniel was one of three Clemson players on Kansas City’s 46-man active roster in Super Bowl LIV this past February.
  • Selected by a coaching staff that includes Arizona Defensive Line Coach Brentson Buckner, a Clemson Athletic Hall of Famer who was an All-ACC selection in both 1992 and 1993. A year ago, Buckner was on the Raiders’ staff that selected Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell with the No. 4 overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft.
  • Will play home games at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., the site of Clemson’s 29-23 victory against Ohio State in the College Football Playoff National Semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl in which Simmons recorded an interception.

 

TERRELL NOTES

  • Became the 59th player to have played for Head Coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the 13th first-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.
  • Represents Clemson’s 34th first-round pick in NFL Draft history.
  • Represents the third-highest selection among cornerbacks in Clemson history, trailing Donnell Woolford’s No. 11 overall selection by the Chicago Bears in 1989 and Tye Hill’s No. 15 overall selection in 2006.
  • Became the 14th defensive back selected in the Swinney era dating to the 2009 NFL Draft.
  • Was Clemson’s second No. 16 overall selection all-time, joining DT Chester McGlockton’s 1992 selection by the Los Angeles Raiders.
  • Became the eighth Clemson player selected by the Falcons all-time, joining DB Rod McSwain (1984), CB Reggie Pleasant (1985), RB Kenny Flowers (1987), DE Malliciah Goodman (2013), DE Vic Beasley (2015) and DT Grady Jarrett (2015), as well as the 1966 Supplemental Draft selection of LB Randy Smith.
  • Was selected by his hometown Atlanta Falcons, becoming the first Clemson player selected to play for his home-state team since the Falcons selected Georgia natives Vic Beasley (Day 1) and Grady Jarrett (Day 3) in 2015.

 

COMMENTS ON SIMMONS

 

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “Isaiah Simmons is as advertised. The reason he has become so intriguing to so many people is because of his versatility. He’s a graduate and he’s incredibly smart from a football standpoint. He played five positions and clearly wanted to execute at different positions for us, which demonstrates his knowledge and his diversity. But he’s a unicorn. You don’t find guys like him that can play safety, that can cover, that can blitz like a defensive end, and that can play linebacker. He’s a great special teams guy. There’s really nothing he can’t do. The biggest thing I can say about Isaiah is if you get 53 men on a roster, he’s like having 56.”

 

ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH/DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR/LINEBACKERS COACH BRENT VENABLES: “The first thing they’re getting is a tremendous teammate and leader. He’s somebody that’s very committed to his craft, somebody that has as much passion for football and being great as anybody that we’ve been around. In regards to his playing ability, he’s a tenacious competitor that hates to lose. He’s incredibly gifted, but his best football is still ahead of him. He’s very dynamic in his skillset and has incredible position flexibility. He’s as impactful as a player that we’ve had at Clemson, and he does that not only through his play on defense but also through his love of special teams.”

 

COMMENTS ON TERRELL

 

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “A.J. Terrell is the Deshaun Watson of this group, and what I mean by that is he’s a Deshaun Watson at a different position. The reason I say that — and this is what I’ve told everybody — is his consistency. He’s handled himself like a pro since the day he got here as far as his maturity, his love of preparation, his mindset, and the type of teammate he is. He’s got unique intangibles to go along with a rare skillset for his position.”

 

CORNERBACKS COACH MIKE REED: “The Falcons are getting a very highly skilled defensive back and a true professional on and off the field. He came in here with a business-like approach on day one. He’s a huge competitor, loves to work, loves to play football, loves to compete. And he ultimately is a great teammate. He is truly a great person, a joy to be around, and he’s going to be a big, integral part of that team.”

Clemson to Face Georgia in Charlotte in 2021 Season Opener

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson, Georgia and the Charlotte Sports Foundation announced today that the Clemson Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs will play in a neutral-site contest at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021.

 

The contest will be part of a 2021 rivalry series being hosted by the Charlotte Sports Foundation, including a neutral-site contest between Appalachian State and East Carolina.

 

The addition of the neutral-site game represents the sixth scheduled meeting between Clemson and Georgia over the next 14 seasons. In addition to the game in Charlotte, the two programs will face one another in the 2024 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta. The historic geographic rivals also recently announced two home-and-home series that will feature games in Clemson in 2029 and 2033 and games in Athens in 2030 and 2032.

 

The teams most recently split a home-and-home series in 2013-14, with each school defending its home turf in a pair of Top 20 matchups. The programs met 24 times in a span of 26 years from 1962-87, playing one another every year with the exception of the 1966 and 1972 seasons. In back-to-back years in 1980-81, the winner of the Clemson-Georgia contest went on to win the national championship. Georgia earned a 20-16 victory against Clemson and a national title in 1980, followed by Clemson defeating Georgia, 13-3, en route to a national title in 1981.

 

The scheduling of this rivalry in non-conference play has been part of Clemson’s philosophy of supplementing its annual rivalry game against the University of South Carolina with additional non-conference contests against premier opponents. Beyond the neutral-site contests, Clemson’s schedule in recent and future years has featured home-and-home series with Georgia (2013-14, 2029-30 and 2032-33), Auburn (2016-17), Texas A&M (2018-19), LSU (2025-26) and Oklahoma (2035-36) as well as eight scheduled contests with Notre Dame from 2020 through 2037.

 

“Thank you to Georgia and the Charlotte Sports Foundation for helping make this game a reality,” Clemson Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich said. “Kicking off the 2021 season with this match-up will be a tremendous showcase for both universities and our fans. UGA is a great football program and we know that Charlotte will provide a first-class experience for everyone involved.”

 

The game against Georgia replaces a previously scheduled contest against Wyoming. Clemson’s future non-conference opponents are as follows:

 

Future Non-Conference Opponents:

  • 2020: at Notre Dame, South Carolina, Akron, The Citadel
  • 2021: Georgia (in Charlotte), at South Carolina, UConn, South Carolina State
  • 2022: at Notre Dame, South Carolina, Louisiana Tech, Furman
  • 2023: Notre Dame, at South Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Wofford
  • 2024: Georgia (in Atlanta), South Carolina, Appalachian State, The Citadel
  • 2025: LSU, at South Carolina, Troy, Furman
  • 2026: at LSU, South Carolina, Charleston Southern
  • 2027: Notre Dame, at South Carolina, Wofford
  • 2028: at Notre Dame, South Carolina
  • 2029: Georgia, at South Carolina
  • 2030: at Georgia, South Carolina
  • 2031: Notre Dame, at South Carolina
  • 2032: at Georgia, South Carolina
  • 2033: Georgia, at South Carolina
  • 2034: at Notre Dame, South Carolina
  • 2035: Oklahoma, at South Carolina
  • 2036: at Oklahoma, South Carolina
  • 2037: Notre Dame, at South Carolina

Batson Inducted Into High School Hall of Fame

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. — Travelers Rest High School inducted Clemson Director of Football Strength, Speed & Conditioning Joey Batson into the Travelers Rest High School Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday evening.

 

Batson, a 1979 graduate of Travelers Rest High School, was a three-year, two-way starter for the Devildog football team as a tight end and defensive end. He earned three varsity letters for the Devildogs beginning as a sophomore in 1976, and during the 1977 season, he was an integral part of a squad that won the Peach Blossom Conference II Championship and earned a spot in the 3A State Football Playoffs.

 

In 1878, Batson was named Greenville News Piedmont Player of the Week after a 22-0 upset victory over Woodmont High School, producing 11 total tackles (seven solo) including one for a safety in the contest. He was an all-conference selection in 1977 and 1978 in addition to being named to the 1977 All-State team as well as the 1978 All-Greenville County team.

 

Batson also played basketball for the junior varsity Devildogs as a freshman and was a member of the Devildog track team in 1977 and 1979, when he participated in sprinting and throwing events.

 

Unsurprisingly, strength training and conditioning was an area in which Batson excelled in high school. He made history in 1975 as part of the first group in the school’s history to be part of a formal weightlifting program. He went on to be one of the elite drug-free powerlifters in the nation, placing in the top five in national meets in California and Illinois.

 

Batson pursued a career in strength and conditioning, completing stints at Bowling Green, South Carolina and Furman prior to his tenure at Clemson, where he just completed his 23rd season. In addition to earning numerous professional awards including National Strength Coach of the Year in 2009, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Association and holds its highest distinction as a Master Strength Coach.

 

As Director of Football Strength, Speed & Conditioning, Batson has helped usher in an era of unprecedented success at Clemson, most recently helping the Tigers to the last five ACC Championships as well as national championships during the 2016 and 2018 seasons. At the conclusion of the decade of the 2010s, his strength program had helped produce 90 NFL Draft picks and helped Clemson players garner more than 190 All-ACC honors in his tenure.

 

Batson joins his father, Billy Joe Batson, as the first father and son duo to be inducted into the Travelers Rest High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

 

Michael Dean Perry Named Brian Dawkins Award Winner

CLEMSON, S.C. — Former Clemson All-American and six-time NFL Pro Bowler Michael Dean Perry was named the recipient of the Brian Dawkins Lifetime Achievement Award at the Clemson’s annual football banquet on Sunday night. Since 2013, Head Coach Dabo Swinney has presented the Brian Dawkins Clemson Lifetime Achievement Award to a former Clemson player who exemplifies excellence in the areas of integrity, scholarship, athletics, service, leadership, commitment, dedication, courage, resilience and spirit.

Recipients must be out of school at least 10 years to qualify. Dawkins, who played 16 years in the NFL and was named to nine Pro Bowls and was a finalist for many public service awards, was the first recipient.

Perry played for Clemson between 1984-87 and recorded a still-school-record 61 career tackles for loss. Twenty-eight of those tackles-for-loss were sacks, still tied for second most in Clemson history on a career basis.

During his senior year, he helped the Tigers to a second-straight ACC Championship and a 10-2 record. He had 24 tackles for loss, including 10 sacks from his defensive tackle position and was a finalist for the Outland Trophy, which is given to the top interior lineman in the nation by the Football Writers Association of America.

Perry was also named the ACC Player of the Year in 1987, one of just three Clemson defensive players to win the award. He was also named the team MVP on defense.

In 1988, Perry was the 50th selection in the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. In just his second year, 1989, he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-Pro selection. He also was named first or second-team All-Pro in 1990, 1991 and 1994.

The native of Aiken, S.C. played 10 seasons in the NFL and finished with 61 career sacks, ironically, the same as his tackle-for-loss total at Clemson. He was named to the Pro Bowl six times (1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1996) during his NFL career, second among former Clemson players, trailing only Dawkins.

Overall, Perry played 148 NFL games, 127 as a starter. His 61 sacks are third among former Clemson players in the NFL and his 13 caused fumbles are fifth. He had 534 solo tackles during his NFL career.

At the conclusion of his career, Perry was named to the Clemson Centennial team in 2000, and was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame the same year. He was also named to the All-Decade team for the 1990s by Pro Football Reference. In 2005, Perry was named to the state of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, and in 2016 was inducted into the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame.

Perry and his wife, who live in Charlotte, operate A1 Transportation Company, which specializes in wheelchair transportation.

Brian Dawkins Award Recipients

  • 2013: Brian Dawkins, 1992-95
  • 2014: Bill Smith, 1977-81
  • 2015: Warren Forney, 1991-95
  • 2016: Jerry Butler, 1975-78
  • 2017: Jeff Davis, 1978-81
  • 2018: Mark Richardson, 1979-82
  • 2019: Michael Allen, 1995-98
  • 2020: Michael Dean Perry, 1984-87

In addition to Perry’s selection for this honor, Clemson’s list of awards presented at the team’s annual awards banquet on Sunday evening is included below:

OFFENSIVE AWARDS

Solid Rock Award
Most solid, consistent and dependable player at each position
QB Trevor Lawrence
RB Travis Etienne
WR Tee Higgins
WR Justyn Ross
TE JC Chalk
OL John Simpson
OL Tremayne Anchrum

Hustle Award
Consistent effort and served as an inspiration to teammates
WR Diondre Overton
OL Gage Cervenka
OL Sean Pollard

12th Man Award
OL Matt Bockhorst
RB Lyn-J Dixon
WR Diondre Overton

Iron Man Award
Dependable player with resilient persistence and leadership
OL Tremayne Anchrum

Most Improved Offensive Player of the Year
OL Jackson Carman
TE Luke Price

Rookie of the Year
OL Jordan McFadden
WR Joseph Ngata

Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year
S Elijah Turner
DE Greg Williams
LB Landon Holden

Offensive Special Teams Player of the Year
WR Amari Rodgers
OL Gage Cervenka

Tiger Pride Award (MVP)
RB Travis Etienne
WR Tee Higgins
QB Trevor Lawrence

Future Impact Players
WR Frank Ladson Jr.
TE Davis Allen
RB Chez Mellusi
OL Will Putnam
WR Brannon Spector

Paw Award
Most blue collar/unselfish player
OL Sean Pollard
WR Amari Rodgers
QB Chase Brice
WR Diondre Overton

Most Improved Special Teams Player of the Year
P Will Spiers
LB Baylon Spector

Specialist of the Year
LS Patrick Phibbs

DEFENSIVE AWARDS

Solid Rock Award
Most solid, consistent and dependable player at each position
CB A.J. Terrell
S Tanner Muse
S K’Von Wallace
DT Tyler Davis
DE Justin Foster
LB James Skalski
LB Isaiah Simmons

Hustle Award
Consistent effort and served as an inspiration to teammates
DE Logan Rudolph
S Tanner Muse

12th Man Award
S Nolan Turner

Iron Man Award
Dependable player with resilient persistence and leadership
CB A.J. Terrell
S Tanner Muse
LB James Skalski

Most Improved Defensive Player of the Year
CB Derion Kendrick
S K’Von Wallace
LB Chad Smith

Rookie of the Year
DT Tyler Davis
CB Derion Kendrick

Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year
OL Hunter Rayburn
WR Max May
QB Patrick McClure

Defensive Special Teams Player of the Year
S Nolan Turner
LB Isaiah Simmons
LB James Skalski

Tiger Pride Award (MVP)
LB Isaiah Simmons
CB A.J. Terrell
S Tanner Muse

Future Impact Players
CB Sheridan Jones
S Lannden Zanders
LB Jake Venables
DE K.J. Henry
DT Ruke Orhorhoro

Paw Award
Most blue collar/unselfish player
LB Chad Smith
DE Logan Rudolph
S Denzel Johnson

STRENGTH AWARDS

NSCA Strength and Conditioning All-Americans
S Tanner Muse
S K’Von Wallace
OL John Simpson
OL Tremayne Anchrum

Dedication Award
OL Gage Cervenka
LB Landon Holden
WR Amari Rodgers
LB James Skalski

All-In Accountability Challenge Champion Captains
OL Tremayne Anchrum
WR Diondre Overton

All-In Accountability Challenge Champion Team Members
DT Tyler Davis
OL Will Edwards
WR Hamp Greene
WR Tee Higgins
RB Ty Lucas
OL Jordan McFadden
WR Joseph Ngata
WR Amari Rodgers
WR Justyn Ross
WR Will Swinney
S Ray Thornton III
S Elijah Turner
DE Greg Williams

Most Inspirational Player of Year
WR Amari Rodgers

ADDITIONAL AWARDS

GPA Awards
Overall: WR Max May
Senior: S Elijah Turner
Junior: WR Will Swinney
Sophomore: WR Will Brown
Redshirt Freshman: WR Drew Swinney
Freshman: LB David Cote

True Tigers of the Year
CB Derion Kendrick
RB Ty Lucas
QB Ben Batson
LB Baylon Spector

Spiritual Leadership Award
WR Will Swinney

Tim Bourret Award
Best represents himself, his teammates and Clemson University in the media
QB Trevor Lawrence

P.A.W. Journey Professional of the Year
WR Carter Groomes

P.A.W. Journey Service Above Self Award
OL Sean Pollard

P.A.W. Journey P.A.T. Man of the Year
OL Tremayne Anchrum

Team Captains
OL Tremayne Anchrum
OL John Simpson
OL Gage Cervenka
WR Diondre Overton
S K’Von Wallace
S Tanner Muse
LB Isaiah Simmons

No. 3 Clemson Falls to No. 1 LSU in CFP National Championship 

NEW ORLEANS — No. 3 Clemson lost its first game in more than two years, falling to No. 1 LSU 42-25, in the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Clemson’s seniors closed their careers at 55-4, suffering their first loss since dropping the 2017 Sugar Bowl in the same stadium. Clemson closes the year at 14-1, while LSU joined Clemson (2018) as the only two programs in the modern era to finish 15-0.

The loss snaps Clemson’s 29-game winning streak. The 29 consecutive wins is tied for 12th longest win streak in College Football history, and is the longest since Florida State won 29 straight between 2012-14. It is the Tigers first loss in 742 days.

Trevor Lawrence completed 18-37 passes and rushed for a one yard touchdown in the first quarter. Travis Etienne finished with 78 yards on the ground, while catching five passes for 36 yards. Justyn Ross was the Tigers’ leading receiver, catching five passes for 76 yards.

In the contest, running back Travis Etienne became Clemson’s all-time leading rusher, passing Raymond Priester’s former mark of 3,966 yards. Just a play later, Clemson struck first, with Lawrence finding the endzone on the ground, capping a 5-play, 67-yard drive that took just over two minutes. After an LSU scoring strike, kicker B.T. Potter put Clemson back on top with a career-long 52-yarder, which also marked the longest made field goal in CFP Championship Game history.

After a stop, Tee Higgins took his first career rushing attempt, a reverse from Etienne, 36 yards across the field and dove in for a score with 10:38 to play in the second quarter. On that drive, Clemson went 96 yards on just four plays in taking the 17-7 lead. From there, LSU closed the first half scoring three touchdowns in the final 9:17, including a 95-yard drive that gave them a 28-17 lead heading to the half.

Clemson made a statement out of halftime, sacking Burrow on third down to end their first drive, and going 50 yards on six plays punctuated with an Etienne rushing score and an Amari Rodgers two-point conversion to climb back in it. However, LSU scored a pair of unanswered touchdowns to take a 42-25 lead with 12:08 to play in the contest, a lead they would hold for the remainder of the game

 

CU200113.htm

#3 Clemson vs #1 LSU (01/13/20)


Scoring Summary

Scoring Summary (Final)
2020 CFP National Champions

1/13: Clemson’s Magic Runs Out, LSU Wins Title

New Orleans, LA – A horrific version of déjà vu.

The early magic favored Clemson. Lawrence was the ice-cold assassin, and Burrow was the frustrated signal caller. Isaiah Simmons was Venables’ weapon of choice, and the three-down-odd-front was the method of delivery.

 

After a promising but fruitless first drive, Clemson didn’t miss their second chance. Lawrence was the man of the hour as he scrambled the last yard into the end zone and heart of Purple Tigers everywhere. Just as impressive was the down-the-seam-throw to newly liberated Braden Galloway.

 

Even Clemson’s struggling special teams had glimpses of glory: Clemson’s third drive ended in a 52-yard BT Potter bomb while the first two three-and-outs were made possible by Spiers’ excellent pop-punts.

 

Clemson marched an all-too familiar 96 yards to break another straw on the proverbial camel’s back. Ross, Etienne, and Higgins all had chunk plays on the lightning-fast four-play drive. Tee’s 36-yard reverse simultaneously exposed the LSU defender’s lack of effort and his own grit, giving Clemson a ten-point lead twenty minutes into the game (17-7).

 

The magic of Clemson ran out and the magic of LSU began.

 

First, Burrow deciphered Venables’ puzzle, as the master of adjustments was the victim of adjustments.

 

One key mismatch was star sophomore receiver Jamaar Chase against junior AJ Terrell. It was an inverse relationship, it seemed as Chase’s draft stock rose with the fall of Terrell’s stock.

 

Chase was a key factor, but Burrow was the engine that made the NFL-ready machine of Brady’s offense go. The previously impenetrable Clemson defense was the latest victim, as they surrendered 21 straight points to end the half.

 

Hope wasn’t lost yet. Burrow succumbed to the Clemson pressure to begin the second half. Conversely, Clemson captured one last bit of magic in a touchdown drive (Etienne rush) capped off by a two-point conversion to cut the deficit to three.

 

Those were the last points the 2019 Clemson Tigers would score.

 

Not to say that they didn’t have their chances. LSU would only score once more in the third quarter, squandering opportunities such as the ejection of Clemson’s James Skalski, a dropped Justin Jefferson touchdown pass, and a missed Cade York field goal from 45.

 

Clemson never capitalized. The normally vicious Tigers were outscored 35 to 8 to end the game – final score 42-25. The normally dominant defense allowed Heisman winner Burrow to score six touchdowns, as Lawrence was held scoreless through the air. Clemson was 1-11 on third down (LSU 4-14), ran 65 plays (LSU 81) and had 394 total yards (LSU 628).

 

Clemson needed magic to beat LSU, but the magic never came. LSU was simply better in 2019. Clemson is a powerhouse, maybe even a dynasty. It doesn’t bring solace for now, but it is worth keeping in perspective that Clemson’s magical decade was incredible. The best thought: next decade could be even better.