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Swinney Named Finalist For Paul “Bear” Bryant Award

CLEMSON, S.C. — The American Heart Association announced today that Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney has been named a finalist for the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award.

Now in its 33rd year, the award recognizes the country’s top college football coach for his contributions both on and off the field. The award is selected after all bowl games have concluded and is voted on by the National Sports Media Association. Swinney is one of seven finalists for the award this season:

  • Bill Clark – UAB
  • Josh Heupel – UCF
  • Brian Kelly – Notre Dame
  • Jeff Monken – Army
  • Nick Saban – Alabama
  • Dabo Swinney – Clemson
  • Jeff Tedford – Fresno State

Swinney is a two-time Bear Bryant Award winner, having collected the honor following the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Swinney will attempt to become the first three-time winner since the award’s inception in 1986, as he and Chris Petersen are presently the only two-time winners in the award’s history.

This season, Swinney has already earned the 2018 Woody Hayes Award from the Touchdown Club of Columbus and Coach of the Year from the ACC. He has also been named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award and the Dodd Trophy in addition to being a semifinalist for the George Munger Coach of the Year Award.

Clemson Football Adds 26 In Early Signing Period On Wednesday

CLEMSON, S.C. — Upon the opening of the early signing period on Wednesday, a total of 26 players signed National Letters of Intent to play football at Clemson. Information on the team’s signees from Wednesday is included below.

The early signing period will conclude on Friday, Dec. 21, prior to National Signing Day on Feb. 6, 2019.

Davis Allen, Tight End, Calhoun, Georgia

In High School: Ranked as 15th-best tight end-H Back in the nation by ESPN.com … had strong senior season at Calhoun High … Region 6 AAA Defensive Player of the Year … first-team all-region on offense and defense … first-team Chattanooga All-Area … County Defensive Player of the Year … played his high school football at Calhoun High for Hal Lamb … teammate of 2019 signee Brannon Specter at Calhoun High … Clemson recruiters were Brandon Streeter and Danny Pearman … committed to Clemson on June 10, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019.

LaVonta Bentley, Linebacker, Birmingham, Alabama

In High School: Ranked as the No. 119 overall player in the nation by Prep Stars … rated as the No. 177 overall player by Rivals.com, who also sees him as the ninth-best inside linebacker and eighth-best player from Alabama … four-star by Prep Stars, ESPN and Rivals … ESPN rated him as the No. 289 overall player in the nation, the seventh-best inside linebacker and 12th-best player in Alabama … had strong senior year with 118 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, four passes broken up … ranked as No. 6 player in Alabama by Al.com … Lineman of the Year by the Birmingham Quarterback Club … named Defensive Player of the Year in Birmingham … Played high school football at Jackson-Olin High for coach Tim Vakakes … Clemson recruiter was Todd Bates … committed to Clemson on July 27, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019 … LaVonta Bentley: luh-VON-tay.

Kaleb Boateng, Offensive Lineman, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

In High School: One of the top offensive linemen in Broward Country, Florida, who helped Fort Lauderdale High to breakout 2018 season as athletic offensive tackle … had 49 knockdown blocks to lead the offensive line … team finished with a 9-3 record, most wins for the program since 1974 … two of the three losses were to St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the top 10 teams in the nation according the USA Today … had 38 offers before selecting Clemson … made first-team All-Broward County in 2018 after starting every game … strong candidate for all-state, which had not been released at the time of his signing … ranked as the No. 3 offensive lineman in Broward County entering 2018 … ranked as No. 67 offensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com and No. 64 at his position by ESPN.com … in 2017, had 38 pancake blocks to lead the team … second-team All-Broward County … had 18 pancake blocks as a sophomore for the Flying L’s … played four years and started on the offensive line three years … has 80-inch wingspan … recruited by Brent Venables … played at Fort Lauderdale High for Richard Dunbar … Committed to Clemson on signing day, Dec. 19, 2018 … last name pronounced “boat-ing.”

Andrew Booth, Jr., Cornerback, Dacula, Georgia

In High School: Five-star cornerback who was ranked among the top 50 players in the nation by every service … ranked as No. 8 overall player in the nation by Rivals.com, the highest-ranked Clemson signee in this class by that service … also ranked as the second-best player in the state and the second-best cornerback in the nation … ranked as the No. 27 overall player in the nation by Tom Lemming … rated as the No. 30 overall player in the nation by ESPN.com, who also have Booth as the third-best cornerback in the nation and fifth-best player in Georgia … ranked No. 32 overall player and third-best cornerback by Prep Stars … ranked No. 41 overall player, second-best cornerback and sixth-best player in Georgia by 247Sports … three-year starter who had 162 career tackles, including 131 solo … had 13 interceptions, 44 passes defensed, four caused fumbles and a blocked field goal … on offense, had 22 receptions for 557 yards and four touchdowns … also had three punt return touchdowns over his career … as a junior, was all-state, all-region, all-county first team … as a senior in 2018, was Region Specialist of the Year, and county defensive back of the year … 2018 team captain. … selected to play in Under Armour All-American game … played high school football at Archer High School for Andy Dyer … Clemson recruiters were Mickey Conn and Mike Reed … committed to Clemson on July 30, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019.

Logan Cash, Defensive Lineman, Winder, Georgia

In High School: Led the state of Georgia in sacks in 2017 with 23.5 … had 40 tackles for loss among his 101 tackles … starter for his final three seasons and was all-region three times … all-state selection in 2017, as the 2018 all-state team had not been announced at the time of his signing … career leader at Winder–Barrow High School in sacks with 42.5 … recorded 204 total tackles in his career at Winder-Barrow High School … in 2018, played just seven games, but had 40 tackles, including 13 tackles for loss and five sacks … had nine tackles, five of which were tackles for loss against Flowery Branch … had 101 tackles as a junior, he had four games with double figures … had 10 tackles, including five sacks against Habersham Central for his best game of the year … high school coach Ed Dudley said, “Logan is one of the best young men I have had the opportunity to coach in the past 35 years. His enthusiasm, energy, and passion for the game are unmatched” … Clemson recruiter was Mickey Conn … committed to Clemson on June 21, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.

Joseph Charleston, Safety, Milton, Georgia

In High School: A national top 150 player from Georgia … ranked No. 122 overall player by 247Sports, where he was listed as No. 13 safety nationally and No. 14 overall player in Georgia … ranked No. 150 overall player by Rivals.com, listed as the 14th-best safety and 13th-best overall player from Georgia … ESPN.com had Charleston as a top 300 player, 14th-best safety and 29th-best player in Georgia … had team-best 83 tackles, nine tackles for loss, two caused fumbles, a fumble return of 46 yards and two interceptions as a senior … had 12 tackles against Roswell and 10 against South Gwinnett … helped his team to AAAAAAA state championship, a first for the Milton High program … played his high school football for Adam Clack … primary Clemson recruiter was Mickey Conn … committed to Clemson on Oct. 10, 2017, as he was the first player in Clemson’s signing class to commit to the Tigers … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.

Bryton Constantin, Linebacker, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

In High School: Unanimous four-star linebacker who joins Travis Etienne as Louisiana natives on the Clemson’s roster for 2019 … Top 100 player according to Rivals.com, who listed him as No. 94 overall player, fifth-best inside linebacker and seventh-best player from Louisiana … ranked as fourth-best inside linebacker in the nation by ESPN, who see him as No. 157-best overall player in the nation and 10th-best player from Louisiana … ranked No. 199 in the nation by 247Sports, he was the sixth-best inside linebacker and seventh -est player from Louisiana in their ratings … attended The Opening in summer of 2018 … helped University Lab to state championships in 2017 and 2018 … had 104 tackles, including 23 tackles for loss and six sacks in 2017 … also had two caused fumbles and a pick-six … All-Metro MVP and 3A all-state … in 2018, helped team to 13-0 record and state title … also played high school basketball … wore No. 21 in high school … high school teammate of Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses … will play in the World Bowl in Mexico on December 22, then, will play in Under Armour All-American game … played his high school football at University Lab School for Chad Mahaffey … father, Tony Harris, played college basketball at University of New Orleans, then in NBA with 76ers and Celtics … Clemson recruiter was Brent Venables … committed to Clemson on April 13, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in the summer of 2019 … Bryton Constantin: BRY-tin; CON-stin-teen

Tyler Davis, Defensive Lineman, Apopka, Florida

In High School: Rated as No. 60 overall player in the nation by ESPN and No. 74 by Tom Lemming … unanimous four-star player … ESPN listed him as No. 7 defensive tackle in the nation and seventh-best overall player in Florida … Rivals.com listed him as 18th-best defensive tackle in the nation … national top 300 player according to 247Sports, where he ranked as the No. 218 player in the nation as well as the 12th-best defensive tackle in the nation and 24th-best player in Florida … had 34 tackles, including 14 tackles for loss and six sacks in 2018 … had best game against West Orange when he had eight tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks … had an interception in 2018 as well … helped team to 11-2 record and a top 10 ranking in the state of Florida … played his high school football at Wekiva High School for Rich Bedesem … Clemson recruiter was Todd Bates … did not commit to the Tigers until signing day, Dec. 19, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.

Tayquon Johnson, Defensive Lineman, Williamsport, Maryland

In High School: Ranked as seventh-best player in Maryland by ESPN.com, which ranked him as 22nd-best defensive tackle in the nation … ranked as eighth-best player in Maryland and No. 29 defensive tackle by Rivals.com … ranked as 11th-best player in Maryland and 33rd-best defensive tackle in nation by 247Sports … joined the Williamsport football program in the Spring of 2017 … team captain in 2017 & 2018 … Herald-Mail Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018 … Washington County (MD) Coaches Defensive Player of the Year in 2018 … Herald-Mail All Area Team as both offensive lineman and defensive lineman in 2017 and 2018 … led Williamsport High to best season in 20 years in 2017 … anchored best defense in school history in 2017 … over his last two years, had 184 tackles, 44 tackles for loss and 12 sacks … had eight rushing touchdowns on goal line situations over 2017 and 2018 … after senior season was invited to USA Football National Team to participate in the 2019 International Bowl … also an outstanding wrestler, finished third in the heavyweight division as a junior, his first year of competition … also plans to compete on the school wrestling team in the winter of 2019 … honor Roll student … member of Program Leadership Council 2017 and 2018 … played his high school football at Williamsport High School for Tim Small … Clemson recruiters were Todd Bates and Mike Reed … committed to Clemson on May 14, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019 … first name is pronounced TAY-kwan.

Sheridan Jones, Cornerback, Norfolk, Virginia

In High School: Ranked among the top 100 players in the nation by ESPN.com and Rivals … ESPN.com ranked Jones as 69th-best overall player, second-best player in the state of Virginia and seventh-best cornerback in the nation … ranked 91st overall by Rivals, fourth-best from the state of Virginia and ninth-best cornerback in the nation … 247Sports ranked him as eighth-best player in Virginia … ranked as four-star prospect by all three services … two-way player, who had 45 tackles, two interceptions, one he returned for a score, in 2018 … as a receiver, had 17 receptions for 347 yards and two scores … will play in World Bowl in Mexico on Dec. 22, then will play in Under Armour All-American game in early January. … played his high school football at Maury High School under Dyrri McCain … Clemson recruiters were Mike Reed and Brent Venables … committed to Clemson on April 20, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.

Frank Ladson, Wide Receiver, Miami, Florida

In High School: Ranked among the top 51 players in the nation by five services … Clemson’s highest-rated player in the class of 2019 by Prep Stars, as he was 22nd overall and the fifth-best wide receiver with a five-star rating … rated No. 23 player in the nation by USA Today Chosen 25 … ranked 33rd-best overall player by 247Sports, who also listed him as the fourth-best receiver in the nation and fourth-best overall player from Florida … ESPN ranked Ladson 35th overall, third-best from state of Florida and the fifth-best wide receiver … Rivals.com ranked Ladson 36th-best overall, fifth-best from Florida and seventh-best wide receiver … noted recruiting analyst Tom Lemming ranked Ladson 51st among his top 100 players … attended The Opening in summer of 2018 … had record-setting senior year when he had 50 catches for 1,133 yards (22.7 per catch) and 13 touchdowns … set school record for receiving yards … led team to a 10-3 season in 2018 … as a junior had 29 catches for 675 yards (23.7 per catch) and eight touchdowns … over last two years had 79 receptions for 1,808 yards and 21 touchdowns, and average of 22.9 yards per reception … will play in All-American Bowl … played his high school football at South Dade High School for Nathaniel Hudson … wore No. 9 in high school … primary Clemson recruiter was Jeff Scott … committed to Clemson on April 14, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.

Jaelyn Lay, Tight End, Atlanta, Georgia

In High School: One of the top five tight ends or H-Backs in the nation by ESPN and Rivals … ESPN ranked Lay as the fourth best tight end/H-back, while Rivals ranked him fifth in that position … ranked as the No. 165 best all-around player in the nation and 16th-best player from the state of Georgia … ranked as the 21st-best overall tight end by 247Sports … helped Riverdale High School to an 8-4 record in 2018 … had 29 receptions for 240 yards and four touchdowns in 2017 … had 7-119 and a touchdown in 2016 … at 6-6, is tied for the tallest tight end in Clemson history … played his high school football at Riverdale High School for Rodney Hackney … Clemson recruiters were Mike Reed and Danny Pearman … older brother is a student at West Point … committed to Clemson on March 3, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January, 2019 … first name pronounced: JAY-lynn.

Keith Maguire, Linebacker, Media, Pennsylvania

In High School: Talented four-star linebacker who ranked as the best player in Pennsylvania by some services … had strong 2018 season, leading his team to third straight Inter-AC Championship in a row … as a senior, had 106 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, five sacks and four interceptions … also had 313 yards rushing and 314 receiving on the offensive side of the ball … scored 14 total touchdowns … two-time conference MVP … named all-state in 2017, and the 2018 team was not yet announced at the time of his signing … No. 219 player in the nation by Rivals.com … that service also ranked McGuire as best player in Pennsylvania and 11th-best outside linebacker … seventh-best player in Pennsylvania by 247Sports … No. 26-best outside linebacker by Prep Stars … led his conference in tackles as a junior … had a touchdown catch in 2017 that was the No. 2 play of the day on ESPN’s SportsCenter … played high school football at Malvern Prep for Dave Gueriera … very active in community service, he went on a 10-day trip to Dominican Republic in June to help build homes … also played on lacrosse team at Malvern … from same conference that produced Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons) and Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame All-American) … Clemson recruiters were Brandon Streeter and Brent Venables … committed to Clemson on April 27, 2018 … .plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019.

Chez Mellusi, Running Back, Naples, Florida

In High School: One of the top running backs in the nation and one of the top all-around players from Florida … ranked No. 137 overall player in the nation by ESPN.com, which ranked him as seventh-best running back and 23rd overall player in Florida … 247Sports listed him as the 17th-best running back in the nation, while Rivals has him as the 20th-best running back … No. 216 player overall and 14th-best running back by Prep Stars … unanimous four-star rating … finished his high school career with 3,905 yards rushing and 50 touchdowns … had 4,409 all-purpose yards and 55 total touchdowns … eight-time Player of the Game according to Max Preps over his last two years … averaged incredible 9.3 yards per carry over 32 games and 421 carries … had 21 100-yard games … as a senior had career-best 1,819 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns … averaged 165 yards a game and 9.9 yards per rush … had three straight 200-yard rushing games early in the season … had eight games with at least 167 yards as a senior … as a junior had 1,505 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns … team reached semifinals of state playoffs … averaged 125 yards rushing per game with a high game of 219 vs. Palmetto Ridge … will play in All-American Bowl … Mellusi played his high school football at Naples High School for Bill Kramer … Clemson recruiters were Brandon Streeter and Tony Elliott … committed to Clemson on April 16, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019 … Last name pronounced: mell-OOH-see

Joseph Ngata, Wide Receiver, Folsom, California

In High School: Ranked as a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, which listed him as the 21st-best overall player in the nation, fourth-best player from the state of California and fifth-best wide receiver … 247Sports ranked Ngata as 39th-best overall player, the ninth-best from California and eighth-best wide receiver … listed as 28th-best overall player in the nation by Tom Lemming … ESPN.com rated him as its No. 159 overall player … led his team to the state championship each of his final two years … led Folsom High in the 2018 state championship victory on Dec. 14 with nine receptions for 103 yards and a score … his touchdown catch with under two minutes left sent the game into overtime … team finished 14-1 in 2018 … for his high school career, had 188 receptions for 3,682 yards and 55 touchdowns … team had a 39-3 record in his three years on the varsity … had a touchdown catch in 36 of 42 career games … also had 17-yard average on rushing plays (17-236) … in 2018, had 66 catches for 1,272 yards and 22 scores, a 19.3-yard average … had six 100-yard receiving games … caught a touchdown in each of his last 10 games and 13 of the 15 games in 2018 … added 8-86 rushing … in 2017, had career-high 81 receptions for 1,777 yards and 26 scores … averaged 22 yards per catch … led team to a 16-0 record with seven 100-yard receiving games, including two games with at least 200 yards … had 12-202 against Oakdale High in 2017 … had 8-213 and career high four touchdowns against St. Mary’s in 2017 … caught at least one TD pass in 14 of 16 games … had 41-633 receiving and seven touchdowns as a sophomore … had 9-139 receiving in his first career high school game in 2016 … had a touchdown catch in seven of 11 games in 2016 … played his high school football at Folsom High School for Kris Richardson … primary Clemson recruiter was Jeff Scott … will be first Clemson signee from California to matriculate to Clemson since Bobby Forbes in 1991 … attended same high school as Washington quarterback Jake Browning … wore No. 10 in high school … will play in All-American Bowl … committed to Clemson on July 28, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019 … last name pronounced: enn-GOT-uh.

Ruke Orhorhoro, Defensive Lineman, Lagos, Nigeria

In High School: Played high school football in Michigan, becoming the first Clemson football signee from the state of Michigan since 1975 (Joe Carolan) … athletic defensive end who played just two years of high school football … ranked as 15th-best overall player in Michigan by 247Sports, 18th-best by Rivals.com and 17th-best in Michigan by ESPN.com … born in Nigeria and came to the United States when he was nine … played basketball as a youth and in high school … averaged a double-double as a sophomore … the week after his sophomore season of basketball ended in the state semifinals, he met with the school’s football coaches and decided to join the team for spring practice … did not play his first football game until the fall of 2017 … had solid 2017 and received some offers from Michigan and Michigan State … as a senior in 2018, had 13 sacks and 22 tackles for loss to go with 60 tackles … scored a touchdown on a fumble return … helped team to an 8-2 season … played his high school football at River Rouge High School for Corey Parker … Clemson recruiters were Brent Venables and Lemanski Hall … has three cousins who played or are still playing college football, Michael Ojemudia (Iowa), Mario Ojemudia (Michigan) and Ovie Oghoufo (Notre Dame) … committed to Clemson on June 15, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019 … first name rhymes with juke; last name pronounced Oh-roh-roh-roh.

Kane Patterson, Linebacker, Brentwood, Tennessee

In High School: National top 300 player by three services who was standout two-way player … ranked No. 138 overall player in the nation by 247Sports, which also listed him as the seventh-best player in Tennessee and 12th-best inside linebacker … ranked No. 202 overall and fifth-best inside linebacker by Prep Stars … ESPN ranked Patterson No. 262 overall and sixth-best player in Tennessee and sixth-best inside linebacker … finished the 2018 season with 647 yards rushing on 92 carries for a 7.0 average … also had 16 touchdowns … on defense had 59 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, including four sacks … led team to state championship Division II AA … was MVP of state championship game, he had 13 carries for 110 yards and two touchdowns and had seven tackles on defense … found out the next day he was invited to All-American Bowl in San Antonio … as a junior in 2017, had 1,003 yards rushing in just 110 carries, a 9.1 average … had 23 touchdowns and four 100-yard rushing games … played just 12 games, he suffered knee injury in state playoffs of 2017.. … had 64 tackles on defense in those 12 games and had 12.5 tackles for loss … in 2016 as a sophomore, had 141 yards rushing and 27 tackles on defense … for career, had 42 touchdowns, all rushing, in 5 games … finished with 1,794 yards rushing on 227 carries, 7.9 yards per rush … had 258 career tackles, including 38.5 tackles for loss, 13 of which were sacks … played at Christ Presbyterian Academy for Coach Ingle Martin … wore No. 4 in high school … Clemson recruiter was Lemanski Hall … committed to Clemson on Sept. 4, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019.

Jalyn Phillips, Safety, Lawrenceville, Georgia

In High School: Four-star safety according to ESPN.com … ranked as 28th-best safety in the nation by that service … Rivals.com also ranked him No. 28 among safeties … three-year starter who finished his career with 198 tackles, 127 solos and 71 assists … had six tackles for loss, two interceptions, 12 passes defensed, on caused fumble, three recovered fumbles and a blocked punt … had 16 receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown … in 2017, was an all-regional defense back … in 2018, all-region and all-county … one of the team captains in 2018 … played at Archer High School for Andy Dyer … primary Clemson recruiter was Mickey Conn … committed to Clemson on Aug. 20, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019 … First name is pronounced JAY-lynn

Taisun Phommachanh, Quarterback, Bridgeport, Connecticut

In High School: Among the top quarterbacks in the nation … ranked as 166th-best overall player in the nation by ESPN.com, who also call him the No. 1 player in Connecticut and eighth-best pocket passing quarterback in the nation … Rivals.com listed him as best player in Connecticut and fifth best quarterback in the nation … 247Sports ranked him as the fifth-best player in Connecticut and third-best quarterback in the nation … consensus four-star prospect … played his high school football at Avon Old Farms School for Pierce Brennan … played two years at Harding High School in Bridgeport and two at Avon Old Farms Prep … for his high school career, he completed 339 of 556 passes for 5,224 yards and 46 touchdowns against 12 interceptions … also had 300 rushes for 1,264 yards and 25 touchdowns, giving him 6,492 yards of total offense and 71 touchdowns … had his best year in 2017 when he had passing efficiency of 205 … completed 135-192 passes for 2,253 yards and 22 touchdowns against just one interception at Avon Old Farms in 2017 … also had 122 carries for 633 yards for another 17 touchdowns … accounted for 39 touchdowns in just nine games … took team to 8-1 record … had injury plagued 2018 and played just six games … was 73-128 for 1,066 yards and nine scores … had another 163 yards rushing and two scores … posted high school career passing efficiency of 162 … primary Clemson recruiter was Brandon Streeter … played high school prep football in Connecticut, same region as unanimous Clemson All-American Christian Wilkins … committed to Clemson on April 14, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019 … name is pronounced Tyson; PUMA-chon.

Hunter Rayburn, Offensive Lineman, Pensacola, Florida

In High School: Four-star prospect by ESPN.com who is ranked as 18th-best offensive guard in the nation … 247Sports ranked him as 27th-best offensive guard … played his first three years of high school football at West Florida Tech … played on varsity as an offensive tackle at the end of 2015 season, then started in 2016 and 2017 … team reached second round of the state playoffs in 2016 and Final Four in 2017 … also played baseball as a pitcher and first baseman at West Florida Tech … transferred to Pensacola High School for his senior year and played baseball in spring of 2018 and football in the fall … named to the all-area team on the gridiron … played in all-area All-Star game on Dec. 14, 2018 … played his senior year of high school football at Pensacola High for Mike Mincy … brother plays college baseball at Coastal Alabama … won Pensacola High FCA Award for 2018 … named to National Honor Society … primary Clemson recruiters were Jeff Scott and Robbie Caldwell … committed to Clemson on June 11, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.

Etinosa Reuben, Defensive Lineman, Kansas City, Missouri

In High School: Ranked as sixth-best overall player in the state of Missouri by 247Sports … ranked as 28th-best defensive end in the nation by that site … ranked as ninth-best overall player from Missouri in this class by Rivals.com and the 41st-best defensive end … ranked as 11th-best player in Missouri by ESPN and 35th-best defensive end … second signee from the state of Missouri to come to Clemson, joining Mario Goodrich, who signed with Clemson a year earlier out of the Kansas City area … only played three years of football, he has a high upside with a large wingspan … named team Defensive Lineman of the Year at Park Hill South High School in each of his final two years … first-team all-conference, all-district and second-team all-state by the Missouri Football Coaches Association … Mr. Panther Award winner at Park Hill South, the most prestigious award presented by the program … nominated for the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive lineman or linebacker in Greater Kansas City … finished 2018 with 62 total tackles, 16 tackles for loss, including three sacks … also recorded a safety … finished his junior year with 55 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, including three sacks, two forced fumbles and one recovered fumble … made first-team all-conference and all-district in 2018 and was a strong candidate for all-state honors, which were not yet announced at the time of his signing … played his high school football at Park Hill South High School for Mike Sharp … Clemson recruiters were Todd Bates and Brent Venables … committed to Clemson on July 29, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019 … first name pronounced “ETT-in-oh-sah”

Brannon Spector, Wide Receiver, Calhoun, Georgia

In High School: Second-generation Clemson player who played wide receiver and safety in high school … had 49 receptions for 719 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018 as a senior … had 47 tackles, five tackles for loss, and five interceptions on defense … returned one interception for a touchdown … had one of his best all-around games in the season opener, he had eight catches for 103 yards and a touchdown on offense, and an interception on defense against Ridgeland … had one of his best games in the state playoffs when he had 87 receiving yards and a touchdown in a victory … Region 6 AAA Athlete of the Year … first-team all-region … first-team Chattanooga Times All-Area … County Player of the Year … in 2017 team won the state championship with a 14-1 record … played his high school football at Calhoun High School for Hal Lamb … high school teammate of 2019 Clemson signee Davis Allen at Calhoun High … showed his athletic ability at the Atlanta Regional of The Opening, where he finished second in the competition to Nolan Smith, one of the top five players in the nation … brother of Clemson linebacker Baylon Spector … his father, Robbie Spector, was a wide receiver for the Tigers who lettered from 1988-90 … Clemson won two ACC Championships when Robbie was on the team and his senior class had a 40-8 record with four straight 10-2 seasons … also has a sister, Blair, at Clemson … also ran track at Calhoun, competing in the 100, 200, long jump and triple jump … Clemson recruiters were Brandon Streeter and Jeff Scott … committed to Clemson on October 28, 2017 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.

Aidan Swanson, Punter, Tampa, Florida

In High School: Left-footed punter who ranked as the third-best punter in the nation by Prep Stars and Rivals.com … ranked as the fourth-best punter by 247Sports and 16th-best punter by ESPN.com … handled kickoffs for IMG Academy in 2018 and had 29 touchbacks on 46 kickoffs (63 percent) … opponents averaged just 19.6 yards per kickoff return … averaged 42.3 yards per punt in 2018 and 46.0 in 2017 … had a 49-yard touchdown pass out of punt formation for IMG in 2017 … opponents averaged just 2.5 yards per punt return in 2018 … played two years at IMG Academy and two years at Jesuit High School in Tampa … punted for a 13-1 team that reached the state semifinals at Jesuit in 2015 … Jesuit was 12-1 in 2016 … was 54-80 on touchbacks at Jesuit in 2016 … had eight touchbacks in a game twice … As a sophomore, was a first-team All-Tampa Bay and All-Hillsborough County selection and a second-team 5A all-state honoree by the Associated Press … was also competed in track and field … was the Hillsborough County district champion for high jump and a State Championship finalist … Head Coach at Jesuit Tampa was Matt Thompson and Special Teams Coach was Tom Feely … played at IMG Academy for Kevin Wright … primary Clemson recruiters were Tony Elliott and Danny Pearman … his mother is a Clemson graduate … committed to Clemson on March 5, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.

Ray Thornton, Safety, Columbus, Georgia

In High School: Georgia native who played his high school football in Alabama … athletic safety who joins 2017 high school teammate Justyn Ross at Clemson … Ross and Thornton were first scholarship athletes to come to Clemson from Phenix City since Marvin Sims (1976-79) … ranked as the 18th-best player in state of Alabama by ESPN.com and Rivals.com … ranked as No. 13 prospect in Alabama by the Birmingham News … integral reason why Central High won the state championship in 2018 with a 14-0 record … bright spot in the secondary that helped Central to 52-7 win in 7A state championship game against team led by Alabama signee Taulia Tagovailoa, the brother of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa … Had an interception and 68-yard return to set up a field goal in the third quarter of that game … Helped lead Central to its first undefeated season since 1944 and first state championship since 1993 … had 57 tackles and two interceptions in 2017, helping Central to the semifinals of the state championship tournament … wore No. 5 in high school … played his high school football at Central High School for Jamey Dubose … Clemson recruiter was Todd Bates … committed to Clemson on June 22, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.

Greg Williams, Linebacker, Swansea, South Carolina

In High School: One of the top linebackers in South Carolina who played in the Shrine Bowl for South Carolina in 2018 … four-year starter at Swansea … played inside linebacker in 2017 and outside linebacker in 2018 … ranked as the eighth-best overall player in state of South Carolina by ESPN.com … listed 12th in the state by Rivals.com and 16th by 247Sports … had 78 tackles with a sack, two forced fumbles and three interceptions as a senior in 2018 … named the Region 5 Defensive Player of the Year … All-Region 5 AAA All-Region in football and basketball in 2017-18 academic year … the basketball team won the Region 5 AAA Championship in 2017-18 … had outstanding junior year in 2017 when he had 103 tackles … comes to Clemson from Swansea, S.C., the same hometown that sent Bryant McNeal to the Tigers between 1999-2002 … wore No. 4 for Swansea … played at Swansea High School for first-year coach Eric Pack … primary Clemson recruiters were Brandon Streeter and Brent Venables … committed to Clemson on June 21, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019.

Lannden Zanders, Safety, Shelby, North Carolina

In High School: Ranked as 24th-best player in North Carolina by ESPN.com … had 51 tackles and five interceptions as a starting safety in 2018 … returned two of his five interceptions for touchdowns … had a fumble return and 175 yards rushing and a touchdown … as a receiver, had 545 receiving yards and eight touchdowns … first-team all-conference … team finished 9-4 in 2018 … in 2017, had 54 tackles and six interceptions to go with seven tackles for loss … had five receiving touchdowns on 24 catches for 363 yards … averaged 15 yards per catch … played his high school football at Crest High School for Nicholas Eddins … Clemson recruiter was Mickey Conn … comes to Clemson from same school that produced Clemson linebacker Justin Foster, as well as former ACC basketball great David Thompson and former NFL linebacker Brandon Spikes … committed to Clemson on April 4, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.

Lawrence Named Freshman Of The Year By Touchdown Club Of Columbus

CLEMSON, S.C. — The Touchdown Club of Columbus announced today that Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has been named the club’s 2018 Freshman of the Year.

Trevor Lawrence

Lawrence becomes the second Clemson player to earn the honor since the award’s inception in 2001. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins collected the award for his performance as a freshman in 2011. Lawrence’s selection marks the second Touchdown Club of Columbus honor bestowed upon the Tigers this season, joining Head Coach Dabo Swinney’s selection for the 2018 Woody Hayes Award as the nation’s top coach.

This season, Lawrence has completed 212-326 passes for 2,606 yards with 24 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He earned first-team freshman All-American honors from multiple outlets and was a second-team All-ACC quarterback, collecting ACC Rookie of the Year honors as he led Clemson its fourth consecutive ACC title.

Despite not starting Clemson’s first four games, Lawrence already holds school freshman records for completions, passing yards, passing touchdowns and pass efficiency rating. His nine wins as a starter broke Deshaun Watson’s Clemson record by a true freshman (four), and Lawrence is one win away from breaking Kyle Parker’s record for wins by any freshman (first-year or redshirt) starting quarterback in Tiger history

Lawrence’s award will be presented during the 64th Touchdown Club of Columbus Awards on Saturday, Feb. 9 in Columbus, Ohio.  A full list of all-time winners of the Touchdown Club of Columbus Freshman of the Year award is included below:

  • 2018: TREVOR LAWRENCE, Clemson
  • 2017: J.K. DOBBINS, Ohio State
  • 2016: JALEN HURTS, Alabama
  • 2015: TANNER MANGUM, Brigham Young
  • 2014: SAMAJE PERINE, Oklahoma
  • 2013: CHRISTIAN HACKENBERG, Penn State
  • 2012: TODD GURLEY, Georgia
  • 2011: SAMMY WATKINS, Clemson
  • 2010: MARCUS LATTIMORE, South Carolina
  • 2009: DION LEWIS, Pittsburgh
  • 2008: JULIO JONES, Alabama
  • 2007: MICHAEL CRABTREE, Texas Tech
  • 2006: COLT McCOY, Texas
  • 2005: TERRELL SUTTON, Northwestern
  • 2004: ADRIAN PETERSON, Oklahoma
  • 2003: CHRIS LEAK, Florida
  • 2002: MAURICE CLARETT, Ohio State
  • 2001: ANTHONY DAVIS, Wisconsin

2018 Clemson Football All-Americans

Five Tigers collect first-team All-America honors, featuring a unanimous All-American among three consensus selections

CLEMSON, S.C. — With the announcement of the 2018 American Football Coaches Association All-America Team on Wednesday, all five All-America teams recognized by the NCAA toward consensus status have been formally recognized for the 2018 football season. Five Clemson players earned at least one first-team All-America selection, featuring a unanimous honoree among a school-record three consensus selections this season.

Presently, All-America teams recognized by the NCAA include ones awarded by the Associated Press (AP), American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Sporting News and the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WCFF). To earn consensus status, players must appear on the first team of at least three of the five lists, with unanimous status being reserved for those who appear on all five.

By earning inclusion on all five first teams, defensive tackle Christian Wilkins became only the fifth unanimous All-American in Clemson history. He joins Terry Kinard (1982), Gaines Adams (2006), C.J. Spiller (2009) and Da’Quan Bowers (2010) as the only unanimous All-Americans in school annals.

In addition to Wilkins’ unanimous selection, tackle Mitch Hyatt and defensive end Clelin Ferrell also earned consensus All-America status by each appearing on four of the five lists. Clemson’s three consensus All-America selections in 2018 mark a first in school history, surpassing the previous record of two set during the 1981, 1991 and 2015 seasons.

Clemson’s five first-team All-Americans in 2018 shattered the program’s previous record of three. Clemson had featured three first-team All-Americans in each of the 1981, 1987 and 2017 seasons.

Notes on each’s player’s selection are included below. In addition to the five first-team All-Americans listed below, Clemson also had linebacker Tre Lamar and cornerback Trayvon Mullen selected as second-team AFCA All-Americans.

CHRISTIAN WILKINS – UNANIMOUS FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN

AFCA – 1st Team
AP – 1st Team
FWAA – 1st Team
Sporting News – 1st Team
WCFF – 1st Team

Graduate defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (Springfield, Mass.) was named a first-team All-American by Walter Camp Football Foundation on Dec. 6, then he was named an AP and FWAA First-Team All-American on Dec. 10. He also earned first-team All-America honors by Sporting News on Dec. 11 before earning unanimous All-America status with a selection by the AFCA on Dec. 12.

As noted above, Wilkins is the fifth Clemson player to earn unanimous All-America honors in school history and the first since Da’Quan Bowers in 2010. Three of Clemson’s five all-time unanimous All-Americans have played on the defensive line (Adams in 2006, Bowers in 2010, Wilkins in 2016), and four total have played on defense when expanded to account for Kinard’s selection at safety in 1982.

Wilkins was a first-team All-American in 2016 and 2017 as well, making him a three-time, first-team All-American. He is the fourth player in school history to earn first-team All-America status in three seasons, joining middle guard William Perry (1982-84), LB Anthony Simmons (1995-97) and WR Sammy Watkins (2011-13).

Wilkins’ ACFA selection on Wednesday was the third of his career, including selections in 2016 and 2017. He and Houston defensive lineman Ed Oliver both earned their third career AFCA All-America selection, making them the second and third players to accomplish the feat all-time, joining former Georgia running back Herschel Walker.

In 2018, Wilkins has 52 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and two rushing touchdowns. In his four-year career, he has 245 tackles, 39.5 tackles for loss, 15 sacks and 54 quarterback pressures in 57 games. He also has 16 pass breakups, most in history by a Tiger defensive lineman.

CLELIN FERRELL – CONSENSUS FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN

AFCA – 1st Team
AP – 1st Team
Sporting News – 1st Team
WCFF – 1st Team

Junior defensive end Clelin Ferrell (Richmond, Va.) was named a first-team All-American by Walter Camp Football Foundation on Dec. 6, then he was named an AP First-Team All-American on Dec. 10. He also earned first-team All-America honors by Sporting News on Dec. 11 and the AFCA on Dec. 12.

Ferrell’s consensus All-America selection builds upon a standard of excellence that has been set at defensive end for Clemson. Prior to 2018, five of Clemson’s previous eight consensus All-Americans had come from that position group, including consensus qualifications for Gaines Adams (2006), Da’Quan Bowers (2010), Vic Beasley (2013 and 2014) and Shaq Lawson (2015).

With his selection by the AP, Ferrell also became Clemson’s first two-time, first-team AP All-American since Terry Kinard (1981-82) after earning first-team honors in 2017.

Ferrell leads the 2018 team in tackles for loss (17) and sacks (10.5) along with totaling 45 tackles in 13 games. In his three-year career, he has 47.5 tackles for loss, eighth most in Tiger history, and 26 sacks, fifth most in school history.

MITCH HYATT – CONSENSUS FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN

AFCA – 1st Team
AP – 1st Team
FWAA – 1st Team
Sporting News – 2nd Team
WCFF – 1st Team

Senior offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt (Suwanee, Ga.) was named a first-team All-American by Walter Camp Football Foundation on Dec. 6, then he was named an AP and FWAA First-Team All-American on Dec. 10. He also earned second-team All-America honors by Sporting News on Dec. 11 and first-team honors from the AFCA on Dec. 12.

Including his selection as a Sporting News All-American a year ago, Hyatt becomes a two-time, first-team All-American. Hyatt is the sixth Clemson offensive lineman to become a multi-year All-American, joining Joe Bostic (1977-78), John Phillips (1986-87), Stacy Long (1989-90), Stacy Seegars (92-93) and Kyle Young (2000-01).

Hyatt also becomes the fifth Clemson offensive lineman to earn consensus All-American honors all-time but the first to accomplish the honor since 1993. He joins Harry Olszewski (1967), Long (1990), guard Jeb Flesch (1991) and Seegars (1993) as the only consensus All-America offensive linemen in school history.

Hyatt is a big reason Clemson is averaging 259.8 rushing yards per game and 6.8 yards per carry. The Tigers have also allowed just 14 sacks in 13 games. In his four-year career, he has played 3,624 snaps, most by a Tiger in history.

TRAVIS ETIENNE – FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN

AFCA – 2nd Team
AP – 2nd Team
FWAA – 2nd Team
Sporting News – 1st Team
WCFF – 2nd Team

Sophomore running back Travis Etienne (Jennings, La.) was named a second-team All-American by Walter Camp Football Foundation on Dec. 6, then he was named an AP and FWAA Second-Team All-American on Dec. 10. He also earned first-team All-America honors by Sporting News on Dec. 11 and second-team honors from the AFCA on Dec. 12.

With his selection from the Sporting News, Etienne became the first Clemson running back to earn first-team All-America honors from one of the five presenting organizations since C.J. Spiller’s unanimous selection in 2009. Etienne and Spiller account for two of Clemson’s three all-time selections at running back, a list that also includes Terrence Flagler’s first-team honor from the FWAA in 1986.

In 2018, Etienne is among the national leaders in rushing with 1,463 yards and 21 touchdowns on 176 carries along with 10 receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown in 13 games. His 22 total touchdowns are a school record. He is also averaging 112.5 rushing yards per game and a remarkable 8.3 yards per carry. In his two-year career, he has 2,229 rushing yards in 26 games and is averaging 7.9 yards per carry along with totaling 34 rushing touchdowns.

DEXTER LAWRENCE: FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN

AFCA – 1st Team

Junior defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence (Wake Forest, N.C.) was named a first-team All-American by AFCA on Dec. 12. With Lawrence’s selection joining the previously announced honors for Ferrell and Wilkins, Clemson has now had three defensive linemen earn a first-team selection from one of the five teams for a second straight year, as Ferrell (AP), Wilkins (AFCA) and Austin Bryant (FWAA) all collected first-team honors in 2017.

This season, Lawrence’s interior presence has helped Clemson rank first in the nation in yards allowed per carry (2.40), third in rushing yards allowed per game (92.92) and fourth in yards allowed per game (276.7). He has been credited by the Clemson coaching staff with 44 tackles (7.5 for loss), three pass breakups, 1.5 sacks, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick.

The Dodd Trophy Announces 2018 Finalists

Renowned list of coaches recognized for success on the field, as well as the classroom and community.

 

ATLANTA (December 5, 2018) – Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl have announced the finalists for the 2018 Dodd Trophy. Finalists include seven of the nation’s top coaches in college football who embody the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity, both on and off the field.

 

This year’s finalists represent four conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC), along with Notre Dame, and have combined for a 2018 record of 75-9 during the regular season. Overall, the seven coaches have a combined 88 years of head coaching experience, seven national championships and 781 career wins among them.

 

Two former winners of The Dodd Trophy were included in the 2018 list with Nick Saban (2014) and Dabo Swinney (2011) being named finalists. Additionally, three of the coaches were finalists for last year’s award, including Pat Fitzgerald, Kirby Smart and Dabo Swinney.

 

Winners of the award from the previous two years and first-year coaches at an institution are not eligible to be finalists.

 

The 2018 Dodd Trophy Finalists:

 

Coach School CFP Ranking APR Score
Dino Babers Syracuse No. 20 967
Pat Fitzgerald Northwestern No. 22 997
Brian Kelly Notre Dame No. 3 966
Lincoln Riley Oklahoma No. 4 956
Nick Saban Alabama No. 1 984
Kirby Smart Georgia No. 5 963
Dabo Swinney Clemson No. 2 987

 

 

“All of these finalists truly exemplify the type of leadership that Bobby Dodd valued and are noteworthy candidates to join the esteemed group of former Dodd Trophy recipients,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “We’re honored to have such a renowned list of finalists who truly embody Coach Dodd’s spirit, both on and off the field.”

 

“This college football season was highlighted by outstanding coaching performances that greatly impacted the course of the season,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO & president. “These seven coaches have distinguished themselves as finalists for this prestigious award, not only for having successful football seasons, but also for their efforts within their communities and commitment to empower their student athletes to succeed in the classroom as well.”

 

Finalists were selected by a panel consisting of all previous winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member.

 

The winner of the 2018 Dodd Trophy will be selected from the list of finalists by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation, and will be announced in Atlanta during Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Week.

 

###

About the Dodd Trophy
The Dodd Trophy was established in 1976 to honor the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division 1A) head football coach whose program represents the highest ideals on and off the field. The award honors the coach of a team which enjoys a successful football season, while also stressing the importance of academic excellence and character, as did Coach Dodd’s teams during his 22 years as head football coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Coach Dodd remains one of college football’s legendary figures, both as a coach and a player. Coach Dodd was a native of Galax, Virginia, and played his college ball at the University of Tennessee where his team had 27 wins, one loss and two ties during the three years he played. Coach Dodd was selected to the National College Football Hall of Fame both as a coach and as a player. Additional information about the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation can be found at www.TheDoddTrophy.com. For news, updates and insider information, follow us on Twitter at @DoddTrophy or find us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/DoddTrophy.

 

About the Peach Bowl, Inc.
Peach Bowl, Inc. operates the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, one of the New Year’s Six Bowls selected to host the College Football Playoff. Last year, the Peach Bowl celebrated its Golden Season, including its 50-year history of traditions and successes as the nation’s ninth-oldest bowl organization. The Bowl has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the country, with 54 percent of its games being decided by a touchdown or less. Peach Bowl, Inc. has disbursed $240.5 million in team payouts over its 50-year history. Peach Bowl, Inc. also leads all other bowl game organizations in charitable and scholarship contributions, giving more than $31.8 million to organizations in need since 2002. Peach Bowl, Inc. also runs the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament, manages The Dodd Trophy national coach of the year award and led the relocation and financial foundation of the College Football Hall of Fame to Atlanta. For more information, visit Chick-fil-APeachBowl.com or follow us on Twitter at @CFAPeachBowl and find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CFAPeachBowl.

 

Ferrell Named Finalist for Ted Hendricks Award

CLEMSON, S.C. — The Ted Hendricks Foundation announced today that Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell has been named a finalist for the 2018 Ted Hendricks Award, presented annually to the nation’s top defensive end.

Ferrell is one of four finalists for the award, joining a list that includes Kentucky’s Josh Allen, Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson and Northern Illinois’ Sutton Smith. Ferrell will attempt to become the second Clemson player to earn the award since its inception in 2002, as former Clemson defensive end Da’Quon Bowers earned the honor in 2010.

This season, Clemson ranks second in the country in tackles for loss (121) and tied for second in the country in sacks (45). Ferrell leads Clemson in both categories this season, pacing the Tigers with 17.5 stops for loss and 10.5 sacks.

Last week, Ferrell collected ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors. His selection represented Clemson’s sixth time earning that honor, as he became the first Tiger to do so since Vic Beasley in 2014.

Voting on the Ted Hendricks Award will conclude on Dec. 5. The winner will be announced Dec. 6.

Clemson To Face Notre Dame in College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl

CLEMSON, S.C. — The College Football Playoff and the Goodyear Cotton Bowl announced today that the second-seeded Clemson Tigers will face the third-seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 29.

 

The selection marks Clemson’s fourth consecutive College Football Playoff (CFP) appearance, as Clemson joins Alabama as the only programs ever to earn at least four straight CFP berths.

 

Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to ClemsonTigers.com for more information on tickets, travel packages, merchandise and more. For the ultimate experience, official travel packages are available through PrimeSport. With limited availability, fans should act now by visiting ClemsonSportsTravel.com to book their trips. Fans are also encouraged to visit the Clemson Tigers Store to get official ACC Championship and College Football Playoff merchandise.

 

The Cotton Bowl berth brings Clemson’s bowl history full circle, The game will be only the Tigers’ second all-time appearance in the Cotton Bowl, dating back to the program’s first ever bowl bid. That year, Head Coach Jess Neely’s Tigers completed a 9-1 campaign in 1939 with a 6-3 victory against Boston College in the 1940 Cotton Bowl. The victory was a landmark one for Clemson, as in addition to being the program’s first bowl game, it represented the school’s first win against a Top 20 team.

 

Clemson will be making a bowl appearance for the 14th consecutive year, adding to its current school record that began in 2005. In total, it will be Clemson’s 43rd bowl appearance, with the Tigers entering their upcoming bowl schedule with an existing 22-20 all-time record in bowl play.

 

The meeting between the Tigers and Irish will be only the fourth all-time meeting between the two programs. Clemson holds a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series between the schools, including a win in the programs’ most recent meeting in 2015, when Clemson stopped a two-point conversion attempt in a driving rain storm to secure a 24-22 victory at Memorial Stadium.

 

Swinney Earns Woody Hayes Award

CLEMSON, S.C. — The Touchdown Club of Columbus announced today that Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney has earned the Woody Hayes Award, presented annually to college football’s coach of the year.

Clemson has posted a 13-0 record this season, one win shy of the team record for wins set in 2015 and 2016. Yesterday, Swinney’s Tigers won their fourth consecutive ACC championship, earning a 42-10 win against Pittsburgh in the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte. Clemson became the first school in conference history to win four consecutive outright titles and became the first Power Five program to win four straight conference championship games since Florida in 1993-96.

Swinney becomes the second Clemson head coach to earn the honor since the award’s inception in 1977. Danny Ford was Clemson’s first Woody Hayes Award winner, collecting the honor following Clemson’s 12-0 national championship season in 1981.

The 2018 Woody Hayes Award will be presented during the 64th Touchdown Club of Columbus Awards on Saturday, Feb. 9 in Columbus, Ohio.  A full list of all-time winners of the Woody Hayes Award is included below:

  • 2018: DABO SWINNEY, Clemson
  • 2017: SCOTT FROST, UCF
  • 2016: JAMES FRANKLIN, Penn State
  • 2015: KIRK FERENTZ, Iowa
  • 2014: GARY PATTERSON, TCU
  • 2013: GUS MALZAHN, Auburn
  • 2012: URBAN MEYER, Ohio State
  • 2011: BILL SNYDER, Kansas State
  • 2010: JIM HARBAUGH, Stanford
  • 2009: GARY PATTERSON, TCU
  • 2008: MIKE LEACH, Texas Tech
  • 2007: MARK MANGINO, Kansas
  • 2006: JIM TRESSEL, Ohio State
  • 2005: JOE PATERNO, Penn State
  • 2004: URBAN MEYER, Utah
  • 2003: BOB STOOPS, Oklahoma
  • 2002: JIM TRESSEL, Ohio State
  • 2001: RALPH FRIEDGEN, Maryland
  • 2000: BOB STOOPS, Oklahoma
  • 1999: FRANK BEAMER, Virginia Tech
  • 1998: PHIL FULMER, Tennessee
  • 1997: LLOYD CARR, Michigan
  • 1996: BRUCE SNYDER, Arizona State
  • 1995: GARY BARNETT, Northwestern
  • 1994: TOM OSBORNE, Nebraska
  • 1993: DON NEHLAN, West Virginia
  • 1992: DENNIS ERICKSON, Miami
  • 1991: DON JAMES, Washington
  • 1989: BOBB ROSS, Georgia Tech
  • 1988: LOU HOTLZ, Notre Dame
  • 1987: DICK MacPHERSON, Syracuse
  • 1986: JOE PATERNO, Penn State
  • 1985: BO SCHEMBECHLER, Michigan
  • 1984: DON JAMES, Washington
  • 1983: TOM OSBORNE, Nebraska
  • 1982: JOE PATERNO, Penn State
  • 1981: DANNY FORD, Clemson
  • 1980: VINCE DOOLEY, Georgia
  • 1979: EARLE BRUCE, Ohio State
  • 1978: JOE PATERNO, Penn State
  • 1977: LOU HOLTZ, Arkansas

Clemson Pummels Pitt For 4th Straight ACC Title  

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The No. 2/2 Clemson Tigers became the first football team in ACC history to win four consecutive conference titles outright on a rainy Saturday night at Bank of America Stadium, defeating the Coastal champion Pittsburgh Panthers by a score of 42-10. With the win, Clemson remained undefeated at 13-0 overall, while Pitt moved to 7-6 on the year.

 

Trevor Lawrence completed 12 of 24 pass attempts for 118 yards with a pair of touchdown tosses to Tee Higgins, who finished the game with 36 yards and those two scores on three receptions. Travis Etienne added 156 yards with two touchdowns on 12 carries, and Adam Choice and Lyn-J Dixon each ran for a score as well. On the defensive side of the ball, Clemson held the Pitt offense to negative yardage for the first nine minutes of the game and also limited the Panthers to just eight passing yards for the whole game. Tre Lamar topped the stat sheet with nine total tackles, and Dexter Lawrence and Isaiah Simmons each contributed two and a half of the Tigers’ nine total tackles for loss.

 

Clemson found the endzone on the night’s first play from scrimmage, as Etienne exploded for a 75-yard scoring run that gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead just 13 seconds into the matchup, good for the fastest score in ACC Championship history. The Tigers doubled that lead five minutes later, as Etienne barreled three yards for a touchdown after Simmons forced a Pitt fumble that Christian Wilkins recovered and returned 18 yards to set up the score. The Panthers got on the board with just under two minutes remaining in the first quarter on a 37-yard Alex Kessman field goal, leaving the score at 14-3 after the fist 15 minutes of play.

 

Pitt scored the second quarter’s first touchdown with seven minutes gone in it, with Qadree Ollison cutting the Clemson lead to just four points on a one-yard scoring rush. But a five-yard scoring pass from Lawrence to Higgins put the Tigers’ advantage back at 10 points with five minutes left in the half. An A.J. Terrell interception returned 31 yards to the Pitt 10-yard line then set up Higgins’ second touchdown reception of the night, and it came on the next play to give the Tigers a 28-10 lead that they took into halftime.

 

The scoreboard still read 28-10 after the third quarter, but that changed on the second play of the fourth quarter with a Choice one-yard scoring rush set up by a Justyn Ross 38-yard reception two snaps earlier. The final score of the game came in the form of a Dixon four-yard rush with just over three minutes remaining in the matchup, bringing the final score to 42-10.

 

Clemson now awaits its bowl destination. The College Football Playoff teams will be announced tomorrow at noon on ESPN, and the remaining teams participating in New Year’s Six games will be announced later in the afternoon.

Elaine Day

Clemson Athletic Communications

Graduate Assistant || Men’s Soccer, Rowing

P: (919) 389-1147

@elaine_day

CU181201.HTM

Clemson vs Pitt (Dec 01, 2018)

Scoring Summary

Scoring Summary (Final) 2018 ACC Football Championship #2 Clemson vs Pitt (Dec 01, 2018 at Charlotte, N.C.) Clemson (13-0) vs. Pitt (7-6) Date: Dec 01, 2018 Site: Charlotte, N.C. Stadium: Bank of America Stdm Attendance: 67784 Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score —————– — — — — —– Clemson…………. 14 14 0 14 – 42 Pitt……………. 3 7 0 0 – 10 Scoring Summary: 1st 14:47 CU – ETIENNE 75 yd run (HUEGEL kick) 1 play, 75 yards, TOP 0:13, CU 7 – UP 0 09:29 CU – ETIENNE 3 yd run (HUEGEL kick) 1 play, 3 yards, TOP 0:05, CU 14 – UP 0 01:46 UP – Kessman, A. 37 yd field goal 9 plays, 62 yards, TOP 4:22, CU 14 – UP 3 2nd 07:56 UP – Ollison, Q. 1 yd run (Kessman, A. kick) 6 plays, 39 yards, TOP 3:08, CU 14 – UP 10 04:57 CU – HIGGINS 5 yd pass from T. LAWRENCE (HUEGEL kick) 7 plays, 75 yards, TOP 2:59, CU 21 – UP 10 00:25 CU – HIGGINS 10 yd pass from T. LAWRENCE (HUEGEL kick) 1 play, 10 yards, TOP 0:04, CU 28 – UP 10 4th 14:27 CU – CHOICE 1 yd run (HUEGEL kick) 5 plays, 69 yards, TOP 1:32, CU 35 – UP 10 03:17 CU – DIXON 4 yd run (HUEGEL kick) 5 plays, 65 yards, TOP 2:45, CU 42 – UP 10 Kickoff time: 8:14 pm End of Game: 11:30 pm Total elapsed time: 3:16 Officials: Referee: Jeff Heaser; Umpire: Jim Hyson; Linesman: Art Hardin; Line judge: Tim Graham; Back judge: Pat Ryan; Field judge: Wayne Rundell; Side judge: Jeff Shears; Center judge: Sean Geraghty; Temperature: 55 deg Wind: ESE 7 Weather: Rain

12/1: Old-School 42-10 ACC Championship Victory for Seasoned Tigers

Charlotte, NC – Etienne’s first touchdown? A 75-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game – the fastest touchdown and longest play from scrimmage in ACC championship history.

 

Etienne’s second touchdown? To quote Tim Bourret’s twitter: “Never thought I would see CJ Spiller’s single season TD record broken, but Travis Etienne has done it. 2 tonight and 22 for the season.”

 

Pittsburgh’s first two tries were less than ideal three and out series – the first was uneventful, and the second set the stage for Etienne’s record breaking play. Three penalties and two poor plays put the Panthers in a third-and-28 situation when Isaiah Simmons strip-sacked Kenny Pickett. Christian Wilkins plucked the ball from the air and rumbled eighteen yards to the three-yard line; Etienne ran the last three yards to pay dirt and broke CJ Spiller’s record.

 

At that point, the only concern was an odd 15-yard punt by Spiers (whom struggled on most of his punts, yet set an ACC Championship record with a 63-yard touchback punt).

 

Clemson’s momentum appeared to be too strong to overcome. Travis Etienne’s two rushes netted two scores, and Pittsburgh’s offense was helpless. The Tigers were up 14-0 in the middle of the first quarter – but then the momentum turned.

 

Darrin Hall’s 20-yard rush and Qadree Ollison’s 21-yard run placed Pittsburgh in field position to score points, and they settled for a 37-yard field goal by Alex Kessman near the end of the first quarter.

 

The normally disciplined defense struggled to contain Pitt’s rushing attack, and the Tiger offense sputtered at the same time. Clemson’s two straight three and outs netted seven yards as the Tigers sank to 0-4 on third down conversions for the night.

 

Pittsburgh’s second chance wouldn’t end in three points this time. Qadree Ollison appeared to rush for a 28-yard touchdown, but a review changed the result to a 26-yard rush to the two-yard line. An illegal substitution penalty on Clemson gave one yard to Pitt, and Ollison’s one-yard rush cut Clemson’s lead to 14-10.

 

In the middle of the first quarter, it looked as if Clemson would run away with the game. In the middle of the second quarter, Pittsburgh was performing its notorious scare of elite teams.

 

Clemson’s response? Beat Pittsburgh at their own game.

 

Etienne’s third major rush of the game didn’t break any records, but the 45-yard scamper led the way for Clemson’s third score of the game. Feaster and Etienne ran five times for 25 yards before Trevor Lawrence lofted an end-zone fade score to Tee Higgins to extend the Tigers’ lead to 21-10 with just over a minute until halftime.

 

AJ Terrell intercepted Kenny Pickett’s third down pass and returned it 31 yards to the ten-yard line, where Trevor Lawrence threw his patented slant route to Tee Higgins for a ten-yard touchdown near the end of the half.

 

What was once a 14-0 impending blowout evolved into a 14-10 defensive struggle, and Clemson’s end-of-half heroics put the Tigers up 28-10 going into halftime.

 

The third quarter continued the rainy defensive slugfest, but the damage was done. For the first fourteen minutes of the third quarter, both teams combined for 68 offensive yards.

 

With fifty-nine seconds in the third quarter, Lawrence and company finally clicked. A 21-yard pass to Higgins, an eight-yard scramble, and a 38-yard flea-flicker pass to Justyn Ross capped off the third quarter.

 

Tavien Feaster punched the ball in from the one-yard line at the beginning of the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach with a 34-10 lead.

 

In an odd sequence of events, TJ Chase caught Will Spiers’ punt when Rafael Araujo-Lopes waived for a fair catch. The odd play ended in two penalties on Clemson – a declined facemask penalty and an accepted 15-yard catch interference penalty.

 

Chase Brice led Clemson’s last touchdown drive – Adam Choice’s 31 yard run, Brice’s 28-yard rush, and Lyn-J Dixon’s 4-yard touchdown run were the highlights of the drive that saw the Tigers cover the spread.

 

Clemson held Pittsburgh to eight passing yards while outrushing the Panthers 201 to 192. Both teams struggled on third down (4/12 Clemson, 3/17 Pittsburgh), and neither team ran more than 64 plays. Clemson’s three one-play touchdown drives sealed the win and widened the score in an old-fashioned championship game, complete with Pittsburgh’s throwback unitforms.

 

Call it ‘old school’ like Coach Swinney, call it a mud-fest, call it a grind it out game. However you spin it, Clemson made history by being the only team to win four consecutive ACC Championships.