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Most Mock Drafts See Beasley as Top 10 Selection on Thursday

Clemson, S.C.—Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley will be one of 28 prospects at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago on Thursday evening as the National Football League begins its annual draft of college players at 8:00 p.m. Beasley is one of many former Tiger football players who could be selected over the three days of the draft.

Eighteen of 22 mock drafts by various members of the media list Beasley as a top 10 pick, including seven who believe the Clemson graduate will be a top five selection.

If Beasley is taken within the first three selections he will be the highest draft pick in Clemson history. Banks McFadden (1939, Brooklyn), Gaines Adams (2007, Tampa Bay) and Sammy Watkins (2014, Buffalo) were all the number-four selection of the NFL draft after their respective final seasons at Clemson.

Beasley set a Clemson record for career sacks with 33, including 12 last year, and had 52.5 career tackles for loss, including 21.5 last year. He was a consensus All-American in 2013 and 2014 and was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2014.

Clemson has had a first-round draft choice each of the last two years. DeAndre Hopkins was the No. 27 selection of the 2013 draft by the Houston Texans and Watkins was the No. 4 pick by Buffalo last year.

If Beasley is taken in the first round it would mark just the second time Clemson has had a first-round draft pick three years in a row. The only other time it happened was in the 1997-99 era when Trevor Pryce (Denver, 1997), Anthony Simmons (Seattle, 1998) and Antwan Edwards (Green Bay, 1999) were first-round selections in three consecutive seasons.

Ten schools have had at least one first-round pick each of the last two years and thus have the opportunity to have a first-round pick three years in a row. Those schools are Clemson, Texas A&M, LSU, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida State, Notre Dame, Florida, UCLA and Tennessee.

Seven Clemson players attended the NFL Combine last February, including six defensive players, more than any other school in the nation. Those six seniors were a big reason Clemson led the nation in total defense for the first time since 1990.

In addition to Beasley, first-team All-ACC linebacker Stephone Anthony, first-team All-ACC defensive tackle Grady Jarrett and first-team cornerback Garry Peters went to Indianapolis for the combine and are likely to be drafted this weekend. Many mock drafts have Anthony as a second-round pick and Jarrett as a third-round selection.

Defensive ends Tavaris Barnes and Corey Crawford were at the combine and are likely to be selected at some point over the three-day process. Punter Bradley Pinion also went to the combine.

Other Clemson seniors who could be drafted include linebacker Tony Steward, and defensive tackles DeShawn Williams and Josh Watson. Robert Smith, the leading tackler in Clemson’s secondary last year, is a senior safety who could be chosen as well. Offensive players Adam Humphries, David Beasley, Kalon Davis and Cole Stoudt are candidates for the draft as well.

Other Clemson draft Notes
Clemson has had at least four selections in the NFL Draft each of the last six years, the only ACC school that can make that claim. Clemson’s six-year run of at least four players drafted is the longest by an ACC school since Florida State had at least four selected 10 consecutive years from 1992-2001.

Since Dabo Swinney became Clemson’s head coach the Tigers have had 28 players selected, tied for second among league schools. Florida State has the most with 29, followed by Clemson and North Carolina with 28, Miami (FL) with 24, Virginia Tech with 17, Pittsburgh and N.C. State with 14, Syracuse and Georgia Tech with 13.

•Beasley will be the fifth Clemson player to attend the draft as a guest of the NFL. The others are Chester McGlockton (1992), Gaines Adams (2007), C.J. Spiller (2010) and Sammy Watkins (2014)

•Clemson has had 24 NFL first-round draft picks in its history. (NFL records do not consider Harvey White a first-round draft choice in 1960 as it was an AFL selection). Each of the last three Clemson players taken in the first round have been offensive players. The last defensive player taken in the first round was the late Gaines Adams, the No. 4 selection of the draft by the Tampa Bay Bucs.

•Thirty former Clemson players were on NFL rosters last year and 26 got into an NFL game, more than any other season. Four were on practice squads or injured reserve.

Vic Beasley in NFL Mock Drafts
(As of April 28, 2015)

•#3 to Jacksonville Jaguars
Sports Illustrated, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com, Outlads.com

•#5 Washington Redskins
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com, Walter Football, Dave Brugler of CBSports.com, Pete Prisco of CBSports.com

•#6 to New York Jets
Charley Casserly of NFL.com, NFL Draft Geek.com, Comcast Sportsnet. Will Brinson of CBSports.com

•#8 to Atlanta Falcons
Charles Davis of NFL.com, Lance Zierkin of NFL.com. NFL Nation of ESPN.com, Mel Kiper of ESPN, Beacher Report.com, Mynfldraft.com, #Peter King, of Sports Illustrated
#Has Beasley drafted by Washington in a trade

•#13 New Orleans Saints
Brian Baldinger of NFL.com, Todd McShay of ESPN, Rob Rang of CBS Sports, Josh Norris of NBC Sports.

Clemson Announces Football Non-Conference Opponents Thru 2020

NotreDame2With games scheduled against Auburn, Texas A&M, Notre Dame and the Palmetto Bowl matchup against South Carolina, Clemson football announced its non-conference football schedule through 2020 on Thursday.

The Tigers take on Auburn (2016-17) and Texas A&M (2018-19) in home-and-home agreements the next four years before traveling to Notre Dame in 2020. Clemson also adds home contests against Troy (2016), Kent State (2017), Georgia Southern (2018), Charlotte (2019) and Akron (2020).

Each year the Tigers also plan to host an in-state Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) school, with SC State, The Citadel, Furman and Wofford each set to make an appearance on the schedule.

“Our fans place a big value on making sure we have seven home games in Death Valley each fall, and the great work of Kyle Young and Coach Swinney have solidified that for the next five years,” Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich said. “Also, with our leadership position within the state of South Carolina, it’s important for us to welcome the FCS schools and continue to support those programs by playing one annually.”

Clemson has set dates for all contests through the 2019 season, and the Tigers are hoping to add another in-state opponent for 2020 in the coming months.

FUTURE NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
2016
9/3 at Auburn
9/10 TROY
9/17 SC STATE
11/26 SOUTH CAROLINA

2017
9/2 KENT STATE
9/9 AUBURN
11/18 THE CITADEL
11/25 at South Carolina

2018
9/1 FURMAN
9/8 at Texas A&M
9/15 GEORGIA SOUTHERN
11/24 SOUTH CAROLINA

2019
8/31 WOFFORD
9/7 TEXAS A&M
9/21 CHARLOTTE
11/30 at South Carolina

2020
8/25 or 9/5 TBD
TBA at Notre Dame
9/19 AKRON
11/28 SOUTH CAROLINA

Clemson Athletics Introduces the Clemson Will for Student-Athletes

From its first intercollegiate contest played in 1896 to the founding of IPTAY in 1934, to the building of Vickery Hall in 1991 on through today, Clemson has continuously been in the forefront of student-athlete development, protection and wellbeing. Today, Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich unveiled Clemson’s commitment to its student-athletes’ welfare through “The Clemson Will,” a series of tenets established for the benefit, development and protection of student-athletes.

“This document outlines the promises we make to any student-athlete who puts on the Orange and Purple to represent Clemson University,” Radakovich said. “Many of these guarantees and promises are not new, as Clemson has long been a leader in student-athlete welfare.”

The Clemson Will outlines the athletic department’s pledge to provide student-athletes with the tools to accomplish the department’s mission of excellence in academics, athletics, and personal, professional and social development.

In 1886, Thomas Green Clemson set forth in his last will and testament the groundwork for the establishment of an agricultural college combining “physical and intellectual education, which should be a high seminary of learning.” In the 127 years since his passing in 1888, Clemson University has become a national model for agricultural and engineering studies, as well as a top department of intercollegiate athletics.

In a structure guided by the 12 items listed in Mr. Clemson’s will, the Clemson athletic department has developed the 12 tenets listed below.

CLEMSON WILL guarantee ALL scholarship student-athletes receive a four-year commitment from the institution. As such, no scholarship – be it head count or equivalency sport – shall be reduced or removed on the basis of a student-athlete’s ability, performance or contribution to a team’s success; because of an injury, illness or physical or mental medical condition; or for any other athletics reason. Established 1990s.

CLEMSON WILL provide cost of attendance, as determined by the institution’s Office of Student Financial Aid, for all student-athletes above the tuition and fees set forth in the financial aid agreement, as allowed by NCAA and ACC rules and regulations. Established 2015.

CLEMSON WILL, through the TIGER TRUST program, provide an opportunity for all student-athletes who have exhausted athletic eligibility or left early for a professional opportunity to retu­­­­­­rn to Clemson to earn their undergraduate degree if they left the university in good standing. Any student-athlete with fewer than 45 credit hours remaining toward graduation who has been re-admittted to the university and into the TIGER TRUST will receive scholarship assistance from the athletic department and IPTAY. Established 1980s.

CLEMSON WILL give student-athletes comprehensive academic support through Vickery Hall, the nation’s first standalone student-athlete academic support facility. Established 1991.

CLEMSON WILL develop student-athletes both away from the fields and courts of play and the classroom, providing life skills lessons which include career development, networking, etiquette and social programming.

CLEMSON WILL afford top-quality, comprehensive healthcare for all student-athletes, including preventative care, rehabilitation and mental wellness.

CLEMSON WILL develop programs encouraging community engagement and service through through individual, team and department-wide participation.

CLEMSON WILL provide every student-athlete an opportunity to have a voice in policy and administrative decisions of the athletic department. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee has representation from each athletic program, as well as an audience and direct line of communication with sport administrators and the director of athletics. Established 1998.

CLEMSON WILL develop student-athletes through elite strength and conditioning programs while maximizing potential and results through individualized nutrition programs to build physical wellness along with speed, strength and endurance.

CLEMSON WILL continue to furnish nation-leading facilities for every sport. Current plans include more than $175 million in new and upgraded facilities in the next few years alone.

CLEMSON WILL develop student-athletes on the fields and courts of play, providing nation-leading coaching and instruction. Established 1896.

CLEMSON WILL compete for championships. Established 1896.

Ground Game Helps White to Victory

SpringG201509Clemson, S.C.—C.J. Davidson ran for 100 yards and two scores to lead the White team to a 35-24 victory in Clemson’s Spring Football Game at Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon. The contest was played in brilliant sunshine and 78 degree weather in front a Clemson Spring Game record crowd of 37,000.

The game concluded the spring practice season for Dabo Swinney’s Tigers, who are seeking a fifth straight season of at least 10 wins, something that has never been accomplished in Clemson football history.

The victorious White squad rushed for 212 yards and passed for 195 yards in a balanced performance. The White team finished with 407 yards in just 53 plays, an average of 7.7 yards per play. The 60-minute game featured three 15-minute quarters of normal clock rules, but the fourth period was played with a running clock.

Davidson was the top rusher in the game with the aforementioned 100 yards rushing. He had a 54- yard run for a score in the second period that gave the White team a 28-10 lead. He had also scored on a one-yard run earlier in the contest. Wayne Gallman, Clemson’s starting running back last season, had 71 yards in just seven carries and also scored a touchdown. Freshman C.J. Fuller of Easley, S.C. had 13-48 and also scored for the White team.

Quarterback Nick Schuessler played for both teams, while Kelly Bryant played for the Orange and Tucker Israel played for the White. Schuessler was a combined 11-17 passing for 201 yards and two touchdowns, one for each team.

Bryant, a freshman from nearby Calhoun Falls, S.C. completed 10-16 passes for 95 yards and two scores. He also ran for 29 yards in seven attempts. Israel, a freshman from Orlando, Fla, completed 8-16 passes for 110 yards and also picked up 12 yards on the ground.

Artavis Scott was the top receiver for the White team with four catches for 75 yards, including a 40-yard reception from Israel. Scott also had 109 yards in kick returns. Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney had live tackling on special teams plays.

Mike Williams was the top receiver in the game with five catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns. One of his receptions for the Orange team was a one handed grab on the sideline that brought special applause from the crowd. Germone Hopper also caught a scoring pass for the Orange team, a 20-yard catch from Bryant for the final score of the game.

Jayron Kearse, Jefferie Gibson and Kendall Joseph all had six tackles apiece to lead the White defense. Gibson also had a 17-yard interception return. There were only two turnovers in the scrimmage.

Another highlight of the scrimmage was the all-around performance of freshman walk-on Hunter Renfrow, who punted, returned punts, had two special teams tackles and had a 24-yard reception for the White team.

“I was pleased with the game today,” said Swinney. “The big thing is we didn’t get anyone hurt. It was a very competitive game and I expected that. We had a great crowd today and I want to thank the Clemson fans for turning out. It was an opportunity for some of our young players to get a taste of what it is like here on gameday.

“We put the team in as much game simulation as possible today and that goes for the young quarterbacks. I was happy with the play of Nick Schuessler this spring and he will be the backup to Deshaun Watson coming out of spring practice. But the freshmen played well and showed great improvement.

“We now look forward to the team working hard in the offseason. They need to finish strong in the classroom the last few weeks of the semester and then it is the very important summer program.

Clemson Spring Game Stats Summary

Saturday April 11, 2015. Clemson Memorial Stadium

Scoring Summary

White 14 21 0 0 35
Orange 10 7 0 7 24
Attendance: 37,000 (Clemson Spring Game Record)

Orange: Mike Williams, 19 pass from Nick Schuessler (Lakip Kick), 1st, 14:05

White: Wayne Gallman 1 run (Grooms Kick), 1st 11:53

Orange: Ammon Lakip 22 FG, 1st, 3:03

White: C.J. Davison 1 run (Spence Kick), 1st, 0:58

White: Artavis Scott 20 pass from Nick Schuessler (Grooms Kick), 2nd, 11:52

White: C.J. Davidson, 54 run (Spence Kick), 2nd, 7:35

Orange: Mike Williams 6 pass from Kelly Bryant (Lakip Kick), 2nd, 2:50

White: C.J. Fuller 1 run (Grooms Kick), 2nd, 0:38

Orange: Germone Hopper, 20 pass from Kelly Bryant (Lakip Kick), 4th, 4:34

Individual Statistics
(Note: Schuessler played for both teams at quarterback)

Rushing
Orange: Dye 13-43; Bryant 7-29; Schuessler 5-21; Brooks 10-18; Hopper 2-1

White: Davidson 6-100-2; Gallman 7-71-1; Fuller 13-48-1; Israel 3-12: Schuessler 2- (-19)

Passing
Orange: Schuessler 6-11-116-1-1; Bryant 10-16-95-2-0; Williams 1-1-8-0-0

White: Schuessler 5-6-85-1-0; Israel 8-16-110-0-0

Receiving
Orange: Williams 5-105-2; Hopper 4-42-1; Dye 2-24; Brooks 2-18; Leggett 2-10-; Bell 1-12; Bryant 1-8

White: Scott 4-75; Peake 3-32; Smith 2-18; Renfro 1-24; McCullough 1-20; Thompson 1-18; Mac Lain 1-8

Tackles
Orange: Dodd 6, Tankersley 5, O’Daniel 4, Green 4, Jalen Williams 4, J.D. Davis 4, Register 4, Yeargin 4, Carlos Watkins 4; Sterling Johnson 3

White: Joseph 6, Gibson 6, Kearse 6, Ogundeko 5, Wiggins 5, Chad Smith 5, Byers 5, Carter 4, Alexander 3, Burrell 3, Rogers 3, Lawson 3

Tackles for Loss
Orange: Kevin Dodd 2-9

White: Rogers 1-7, Ogundeko 1-6; Kearse 1-2, Carter 1-2, Joseph 1-2, Chad Smith 1-4, Lawson 1-3

Sacks
Orange: Carlos Watkins 1-11; Kevin Dodd 1-7

White: Ogundeko 1-6; Rogers 1-7

Interceptions
Orange: None

White: Gibson 1-16

Clemson Spring Game Stats Summary

SpringG201507Scoring Summary

White 14 21 0 0 35
Orange 10 7 0 7 24
Attendance: 37,000 (Clemson Spring Game Record)

Orange: Mike Williams, 19 pass from Nick Schuessler (Lakip Kick), 1st, 14:05
White: Wayne Gallman 1 run (Grooms Kick), 1st 11:53
Orange: Ammon Lakip 22 FG, 1st, 3:03
White: C.J. Davison 1 run (Spence Kick), 1st, 0:58
White: Artavis Scott 20 pass from Nick Schuessler (Grooms Kick), 2nd, 11:52
White: C.J. Davidson, 54 run (Spence Kick), 2nd, 7:35
Orange: Mike Williams 6 pass from Kelly Bryant (Lakip Kick), 2nd, 2:50
White: C.J. Fuller 1 run (Grooms Kick), 2nd, 0:38
Orange: Germone Hopper, 20 pass from Kelly Bryant (Lakip Kick), 4th, 4:34

Individual Statistics
(Note: Schuessler played for both teams at quarterback)

Rushing
Orange: Dye 13-43; Bryant 7-29; Schuessler 5-21; Brooks 10-18; Hopper 2-1
White: Davidson 6-100-2; Gallman 7-71-1; Fuller 13-48-1; Israel 3-12: Schuessler 2- (-19)

Passing
Orange: Schuessler 6-11-116-1-1; Bryant 10-16-95-2-0; Williams 1-1-8-0-0
White: Schuessler 5-6-85-1-0; Israel 8-16-110-0-0

Receiving
Orange: Williams 5-105-2; Hopper 4-42-1; Dye 2-24; Brooks 2-18; Leggett 2-10-; Bell 1-12; Bryant 1-8
White: Scott 4-75; Peake 3-32; Smith 2-18; Renfro 1-24; McCullough 1-20; Thompson 1-18; Mac Lain 1-8

Tackles
Orange: Dodd 6, Tankersley 5, O’Daniel 4, Green 4, Jalen Williams 4, J.D. Davis 4, Register 4, Yeargin 4, Carlos Watkins 4; Sterling Johnson 3
White: Joseph 6, Gibson 6, Kearse 6, Ogundeko 5, Wiggins 5, Chad Smith 5, Byers 5, Carter 4, Alexander 3, Burrell 3, Rogers 3, Lawson 3

Tackles for Loss
Orange: Kevin Dodd 2-9
White: Rogers 1-7, Ogundeko 1-6; Kearse 1-2, Carter 1-2, Joseph 1-2, Chad Smith 1-4, Lawson 1-3

Sacks
Orange: Carlos Watkins 1-11; Kevin Dodd 1-7
White: Ogundeko 1-6; Rogers 1-7

Interceptions
Orange: None
White: Gibson 1-16

Clemson Holds Final Full Pads Practice Prior to Spring Game

SpringPract11Clemson, S.C.—Wednesday afternoon Clemson held its final full pads practice prior to Saturday’s annual Spring Football Game in Memorial Stadium. The contest that will be the 15th and final spring practice session will start at 2:30 p.m. and admission is free. A flag football game involving former Clemson players, known as the Clemson Sons Bowl, will start at noon.

Head Coach Dabo Swinney is looking forward to what he feels will be a competitive spring game. “I think this will be one of the most competitive spring games we have had,” said Swinney, who has been Clemson’s head coach since October of 2008. “We have divided the team evenly. The plays won’t be scripted, but there will be a menu.

“ It will be a good experience for a lot of the new players. You can say it is just a scrimmage, but the players will look up in the stands and see their parents and their grand parents, and they will want to perform well for them. It will also be an opportunity for many of them to play in front of a lot of people.”

Swinney said the head coaches for the respective teams will be Brent Venables and Robbie Caldwell. The teams will be drafted on Thursday and there will be a shorts practice late Thursday afternoon to get the teams organized. Swinney said that Nick Schuessler would play quarterback for each team at points during the game. Freshmen Kelly Bryant and Tucker Israel will be on opposite sides and will not switch teams.

Swinney had his team go through a two-hour practice on Wednesday that included an hours worth of a situational scrimmage. “This is the only practice in the spring where I have the first-team offense go against the second team defense and vice versa. We had a physical practice and half scrimmage on Monday.

“”I got what I expected in that the first-team offense did well against the second team defense and the second team offense had a tough time moving the ball against the first team defense.”

Safety T.J. Greene had the biggest play of the scrimmage when he scored on a 50-yard interception return. Carlos Watkins had another blocked field goal, his fourth of the spring scrimmage sessions. “We lead the nation in blocked field goals this spring,” said Swinney.

“We are getting some great effort from the defensive line, but at the same time we miss Kalon Davis and David Beasley as field goal protectors. We might have been the best in the nation at field goal protection the last four years and they were a big reason. We will have to work on that aspect of the game. Our backup kickers have to do a better job also.”

Clemson Holds Half Scrimmage Monday

SpringPract08CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson held a physical, two-hour practice on Monday. The workout included a one-on-one hitting drill in period one and finished with an hour of scrimmage work in the indoor facility. Dabo Swinney’s Tigers are preparing for the annual Spring Game in Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 11 at 2:30 p.m.

“This was a tough practice,” said Swinney, who had given his team four days off for the Easter holiday. “We challenged them with a physical drill right from the beginning, then had the half scrimmage. We continue to keep evaluating our players in all of the drills and scrimmages.

“The offense moved the ball and had some big plays during the scrimmage, but the defense continued to win the battles in the redzone.”

Swinney has been impressed with some veteran defensive players up front who will get opportunities as starters this coming fall.

“We have not been able to block D.J. Reader. I really like his attitude this spring. Of course, we say the same thing about Shaq Lawson every day. Carlos Watkins and Kevin Dodd are improving every day and getting more and more consistent.

“But I like what I am seeing in the offensive line, too. It shows we are having good competition in the trenches. The second unit is starting to come together.”

The young quarterbacks, Tucker Israel and Kelly Bryant, played well in the scrimmage segment of the practice. Both completed passes of at least 50 yards, as Israel hit Germone Hopper and Bryant connected with Adrien Dunn. Israel completed a touchdown pass to Hopper to complete the drive, while Bryant had a 15-yard run to set up a field goal.

“This was probably the best practice for both of the freshmen,” Swinney said. “I told the team after the practice that it is not easy to come out here from high school and go against our defense right away.”