48. Clemson University Best Players of All time

John Rizzo

Welcome to Clemson University, a public land-grant research university located in the beautiful city of Clemson, South Carolina. Founded in 1889 as an agricultural college, today it is one of the most respected universities on the east coast for its academic excellence and cutting edge research.

With over 23,000 students enrolled from all 50 states and 93 countries around the world, diversity is at our core. We offer more than 80 undergraduate majors across five colleges and also have some of top graduate programs in business administration, engineering sciences & computing technology.

Our faculty are passionate about helping you achieve your educational goals while providing an enriching student experience through leadership opportunities and extracurricular activities both inside and outside of class.

Table of Contents

1. DeAndre Hopkins

Wide receiver

DeAndre Hopkins Career

  • 3× First-team All-Pro (2017–2019)
  • 2× Second-team All-Pro (2015, 2020)
  • 5× Pro Bowl (2015, 2017–2020)
  • NFL receiving touchdowns leader (2017)
  • PFWA All-Rookie Team (2013)
  • First-team All-ACC (2012)

DeAndre Hopkins is a wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. He was drafted by the Houston Texans in 2013, but he has played with the Arizona Cardinals since 2020.

DeAndre Hopkins is 6'1" and 212 pounds and he has had success playing in both offense and defense for the Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals, respectively. DeAndre Hopkins is known for his explosiveness on the field, as well as his ability to make big plays downfield.

He will be an important part of any team's offense moving forward. DeAndre Hopkins is one of the best receivers in the NFL and has been a top performer for the Texans since joining them in 2013. 

He was an All-Pro selection three times, including twice as runner-up for Second Team honors and once as leader of the league's touchdown chart with 71 touchdowns over his career.

Hopkins also enjoyed some success on special teams, being named First Team All-ACC on several occasions while playing both receiver and returner positions throughout his college career at Clemson University.

Also Played For: arizona cardinals, clemson tigers football

2. Shaq Lawson

Defensive end

Shaq Lawson Career

  • Buffalo Bills (2016–2019)
  • Miami Dolphins (2020)
  • Houston Texans (2021)*
  • New York Jets (2021)
  • Buffalo Bills (2022–present)

Shaq Lawson was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2016. He has played for the Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans in his career so far. Shaq Lawson is currently a member of the Buffalo Bills, where he started all 16 games this season.

Shaq Lawson is considered to be one of the best defensive ends in the league and will continue to improve as he progresses into his career Lawson was a two-time consensus All-American and winner of the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back.

Lawson recorded 168 tackles, 21 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 interception in his four seasons at Clemson. The Indianapolis Colts selected Lawson with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Also Played For: buffalo bills

3. Tee Higgins

Wide receiver

Tee Higgins Career

  • CFP national champion (2018)
  • First-team All-ACC (2019)
  • Second-team All-ACC (2018)

Tee Higgins was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2020. Higgins played college football at Clemson and had a great career there. He has been with the Bengals since 2020 and is an active player on their roster.

Higgins has made some big plays for the Bengals, including a touchdown against the Ravens in 2019. 

He is likely to continue his success with the team moving forward as he develops his skills further in the NFL Higgins was born in Miami, Florida, and played college football at Clemson.

Higgins won a national championship with the Tigers in 2018, and first-team All-ACC honors in 2019. Higgins has been selected by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

 Higgins is expected to be an impact player for the Lions from day one and could see significant playing time as a rookie due to his versatility on offense.

Also Played For: cincinnati bengals, nfl playoff

4. Brian Dawkins


Brian Dawkins Career

  • 4× First-team All-Pro (2001, 2002, 2004, 2006)
  • Second-team All-Pro (2009)
  • 9× Pro Bowl (1999, 2001, 2002, 2004–2006, 2008, 2009, 2011)
  • NFL 2000s All-Decade Team
  • PFWA All-Rookie Team (1996)
  • Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame
  • Philadelphia Eagles 75th Anniversary Team
  • Philadelphia Eagles No. 20 retired
  • Second-team All-American (1995)
  • First-team All-ACC (1995)

Brian Dawkins was a two-time All-Pro safety who played for the Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos throughout his NFL career. He was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on October 13th, 1973, and attended William M.

Raines High School before playing college football at Clemson. After being drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1996, he spent six years with the team before moving to Denver in 2009 where he won a Super Bowl title that year.

In 2018, after 11 seasons out of the game due to injuries, Brian retired from professional football following stints with both Baltimore Ravens (2012) and Washington Redskins (2016). Dawkins was an All-Pro linebacker in the NFL for nine seasons and played in four Pro Bowls.

After playing college football at Temple, Dawkins entered the league as a first-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999. He quickly became one of the best linebackers in the league, earning four consecutive First-team All-Pro honors from 2001 to 2004. 

In 2006, Dawkins suffered a career-threatening knee injury that forced him to miss most of the season.

However, he bounced back strong and led Philadelphia to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1978 later that year. The Eagles lost 44–7 to New England Patriots but Dawkins was named MVP of the game after recording 11 tackles and 2 sacks on defense and catching 1 pass for 17 yards on offense (including an 18-yard touchdown reception). 

Following his retirement following the 2007 season, Dawkins served as executive director of player development with Philadelphia before joining Chip Kelly's staff with Oregon as assistant head coach/defensive coordinator in 2013 where he helped lead the team to two Pac-12 championships – including a Rose Bowl victory over. 

Wisconsin – before retiring again following the 2017 season due to health concerns related to multiple concussions sustained throughout his career.

Also Played For: denver broncos

5. Grady Jarrett

Defensive tackle

Grady Jarrett Career

  • Second-team All-Pro (2019)
  • 2× Pro Bowl (2019, 2020)
  • First-team All-ACC (2014)

Jarrett played defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons from 2015 to present. He has appeared in 93 NFL games, with 63 starts. Jarrett recorded 54 tackles and nine sacks during his time with the Falcons.

Jarrett was drafted by the Falcons in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft after playing college football at Clemson. Grady Jarrett is a versatile defensive lineman who has played both end and tackle positions in the NFL.

He was named to the second-team All-Pro team in 2019 and 2020, after recording 413 total tackles, 32.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries and 4 pass deflections during his seven seasons in the league. 

Jarrett was also an integral part of Clemson's National Championship teams in 2014 and 2018, winning ACC Player of the Year honors each time.

6. A.J. Terrell


A.J. Terrell Career

  • Second-team All-Pro (2021)
  • CFP national champion (2018)
  • First-team All-ACC (2019)
  • Third-team All-ACC (2018)

Terrell was a standout cornerback at Clemson and was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2020 draft. Terrell has made an impact as a rookie with his play on defense, earning multiple honors including being named to the Pro Bowl and Associated Press All-Pro team.

In addition to playing cornerback, Terrell is also known for his special team contributions and has appeared in multiple Super Bowls during his career thus far. As one of the most promising young players in the league, Terrell is expected to continue developing over time and become an even greater defender for Atlanta down the line.

A.J. Terrell is a versatile defensive back who played both cornerback and safety for the Clemson Tigers. He was one of the most consistent defenders in college football over his four-year career, winning Second-team All-Pro honors as a rookie and First-team All-ACC accolades each year after that. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Terrell with the 36th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and he made an immediate impact on their team despite being new to the position.

He led all Jaguars DBs in tackles (72) and interceptions (3) during his first season, earning him a spot on both AFC Defensive Player of the Week committees along the way. I

n 2020, Terrell emerged as one of the league's top cornerbacks after another stellar campaign where he finished second in total tackles (128), sacks (4), passes defended (26), forced fumbles (4), and fumble recoveries among DBs. 

As expected, he continued proving himself as one of the best corners in the league by leading all players at his position with five interceptions during the 2021 regular season which earned him selection to Pro Bowl for the NFC squad.

7. Kevin Mack

Running back

Kevin Mack Career

  • 2× Pro Bowl (1985, 1987)
  • PFWA All-Rookie Team (1985)
  • Cleveland Browns Legends

Kevin Mack was a fullback for the Cleveland Browns from 1985 to 1993. He helped lead the team to three consecutive AFC Championship games and one Super Bowl appearance in 1991.

Mack also played for the Los Angeles Express of the USFL in 1984 and spent time with the Houston Oilers and San Diego Chargers during his NFL career. Kevin Mack is currently an assistant football coach at East Davidson High School in Lexington, North Carolina.

Mack was a dominant running back for the Cleveland Browns in the 1980s. He was twice selected to play in the Pro Bowl and earned All-Rookie honors from the PFWA. 

Mack passed away at age 60 due to complications from Alzheimer's disease, which he had been diagnosed within 2006.

Also Played For: cleveland browns

8. Michael Dean Perry


  • 5× First-team All-Pro (1989-1993)
  • Second-team All-Pro (1994)
  • 6× Pro Bowl (1989–1991, 1993, 1994, 1996)
  • PFWA All-Rookie Team (1988)
  • Cleveland Browns Legends
  • ACC Player of the Year (1987)

Perry was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1988 and spent six seasons with the team. He was traded to the Denver Broncos ahead of the 1995 season and played for them until 1997.

Perry then signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he remained for three more seasons before retiring from football in 1999. Michael Dean Perry was a standout defensive back in the NFL for over a decade.

He played for the Cleveland Browns and is best remembered as part of their famed "Dawg Pound" defense that helped lead them to four championships in five seasons (1989-1993). 

Michael Dean Perry also received recognition on the national stage, being named First-team All Pro twice and Second Team All-Pro once during his career.

After retiring from football, Michael Dean Perry has since worked as an analyst for Fox Sports Ohio covering both college football and basketball games. 

In 2017, he was inducted into the Cleveland Browns Legends Hall of Fame along with other former players such as Paul Brown and Bernie Kosar.

9. Jayron Kearse


Jayron Kearse Career

  • Minnesota Vikings (2016–2019)
  • Detroit Lions (2020)
  • Baltimore Ravens (2020)*
  • Dallas Cowboys (2021–present)

Kearse played safety for Clemson, where he was a two-time All-ACC selection. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Kearse has appeared in 21 games during his career and recorded 130 tackles, one interception, and eight pass deflections. Jayron Kearse was a two-time first-team All-ACC selection and an all-American in 2015.

He played college football at Clemson, where he recorded 306 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 4 fumble recoveries over his three seasons there. Kearse entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens in 2020 and has since been a regular contributor to their defense.

Jayron Kearse is set to enter his fourth season with the Dallas Cowboys during the 2021 season.

Also Played For: dallsa cowboy, dallas cowboys

10. Deshaun Watson


Deshaun Watson Career

  • 3× Pro Bowl (2018–2020)
  • NFL passing yards leader (2020)
  • PFWA All-Rookie Team (2017)
  • CFP national champion (2016)
  • CFP National Championship Offensive MVP (2016)
  • Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (2016)
  • 2× Davey O'Brien Award (2015, 2016)
  • 2× Manning Award (2015, 2016)
  • 2× ACC Athlete of the Year (2016, 2017)
  • ACC Player of the Year (2015)
  • ACC Offensive Player of the Year (2015)
  • Consensus All-American (2015)
  • First-team All-ACC (2015)
  • Second-team All-ACC (2016)

Deshaun Watson was born in Gainesville, Georgia on September 14, 1995. He attended Clemson University and played for the Tigers from 2014-2016. In 2017, Deshaun Watson was drafted by the Houston Texans as the 12th overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Since being drafted by Houston, he has started all 16 games for them and led them to a 10-6 record during his rookie season. 

In 2018, Watson helped lead the Texans to their first-ever playoff appearance as they beat Tennessee Titans in overtime in week 17 of that season's regular season schedule (the team would later lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars).

As of 2019, Deshaun Watson is still with the Houston Texans and is considered one of their key players going into this year's playoffs. Deshaun Watson is a 3-time Pro Bowler and 2x ACC Offensive Player of the Year. 

Deshaun Watson led Clemson to an undefeated season in 2015, before winning the national championship in 2016. In 2017, Watson was named First-team All-American after completing 536 yards with 4 touchdowns and 1 interception against Alabama in the National Championship game.

Also Played For: huston texans, madden nfl 21

11. Trevor Lawrence


Trevor Lawrence Career

  • CFP national champion (2018)
  • CFP National Championship Offensive MVP (2018)
  • ACC Athlete of the Year (2021)
  • ACC Player of the Year (2020)
  • ACC Offensive Player of the Year (2020)
  • ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year (2018)
  • First-team All-American (2020)
  • 2× First-team All-ACC (2019, 2020)
  • Second-team All-ACC (2018)

Trevor Lawrence was born on October 6, 1999, in Knoxville, Tennessee. He attended Cartersville High School where he played football and basketball. In 2018, Lawrence went to Clemson University and starred for the Tigers as a quarterback before being drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021.

Trevor has started all 16 games for the Jaguars since then and has led them to two playoff appearances so far in his career. Trevor Lawrence was the CFP National Champion Offensive MVP in 2018 and a two-time first-team All-American. 

He has an 83.1 passer rating and 7 rushing touchdowns on 628 yards this year in the NFL. Trevor is likely to be drafted number one overall in 2020 and could become one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.

Also Played For: jacksonville jaguars, school football

12. Travis Etienne

Running back

Travis Etienne Career

  • CFP national champion (2018)
  • 2 × ACC Player of the Year (2018, 2019)
  • 2 × ACC Offensive Player of the Year (2018, 2019)
  • 3 × All-American (2018-2020)
  • 3 × First team All-ACC (2018–2020)
  • Third-team All-ACC (2017)

Etienne is a running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Etienne was born on January 26, 1999, in Jennings, Louisiana, and attended high school at LSU before transferring to Clemson.

Etienne played college football for the Clemson Tigers from 2017 to 2020 and was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Etienne has appeared in 53 games during his three-year career with 27 starts and has gained 1,057 rushing yards on 279 carries (5.1 yards per carry).

He also has 38 receptions for 367 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Etienne is currently an active member of the Jacksonville Jaguars roster Travis Etienne was one of the most prolific running backs in college football and is expected to be a top NFL pick. 

He won multiple awards, including ACC Player of the Year, ACC Offensive Player of the Year, and All-American.

His rushing yards and touchdowns are both very high for a player his size, indicating that he has great speed as well. Etienne should have no problem transitioning to the NFL level where he will likely be an impact player from day.

Also Played For: fantasy playoff, nfl preseason

13. Mike Williams

Wide receiver

Mike Williams Career

  • CFP national champion (2016)
  • First team All-ACC (2016)

Mike Williams was drafted seventh overall by the Los Angeles Chargers in the 2017 NFL Draft. He played college football at Clemson and had a standout career there, amassing 1,470 yards on 103 receptions for 15 touchdowns in 2016.

In his rookie season with the Los Angeles Chargers, he appeared in all 16 games and recorded 44 receptions for 636 yards and four touchdowns. 

Williams is known as a powerful receiver who can threaten defenses deep downfield. Mike Williams is a wide receiver for the Los Angeles Chargers and was considered one of the top prospects coming out of college.

He was named first-team All-ACC in 2016 and helped lead his team to a national championship. Mike Williams has 275 receptions for 4,355 yards and 30 touchdowns in his career thus far with the NFL.

Also Played For: los angeles chargers, usc trojans football

14. Christian Wilkins

Defensive tackle

Christian Wilkins Career

  • 2× CFP national champion (2016, 2018)
  • William V. Campbell Trophy (2018)
  • Bill Willis Trophy (2017)
  • Unanimous All-American (2018)
  • 2× First-team All-American (2016, 2017)
  • 2× First-team All-ACC (2017, 2018)
  • Second-team All-ACC (2016)

Christian Wilkins is a defensive end for the Miami Dolphins and entered the NFL draft in 2019. He played college football at Clemson and was drafted by the Dolphins with their first pick that year.

Christian has amassed over 100 tackles, 17 sacks, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and one touchdown during his career thus far. Christian Wilkins is a two-time CFP national champion and unanimous All-American.

He was also named to the First-team All-ACC in 2017 and 2018. Christian Wilkins enjoyed a successful career in the NFL, playing for the Carolina Panthers from 2020 until 2022. During that time he earned 273 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, and 13 pass deflections.

Christian Wilkins will be remembered as one of the best interior defensive players in NCAA history and his achievements at Clemson will always be remembered fondly by Tigers fans.

Also Played For: miami dolphins, defensive end

15. Dexter Lawrence

Nose tackle

Dexter Lawrence Career

  • Pro Bowl (2022)
  • PFWA All-Rookie Team (2019)
  • 2× CFP national champion (2016, 2018)
  • 2× First-team All-ACC (2017, 2018)
  • Second-team All-ACC (2016)
  • ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year (2016)

Dexter Lawrence is a nose tackle for the New York Giants. He was drafted in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Giants and has since made an impact on their defensive line.

Dexter Lawrence attended Clemson University, where he played college football under Dabo Swinney. As a sophomore in 2016, he was named to All-ACC First Team and helped lead Clemson to a National Championship that year.

In his two seasons with the Tigers, Lawrence recorded 97 tackles (47 solos) and 17 sacks while helping win two national championships (2017, 2018). 

After being drafted by New York, Dexter signed a four-year contract worth $6 million which includes $5 million guaranteed and will make him one of their highest-paid players when it expires in 2022.

With his impressive stats at Clemson coupled with elite pass-rushing abilities, there's no questioning Dexter's potential as an NFL player - especially considering that he's still only 25 years old. 

Dexter Lawrence is an All-American defensive lineman from Clemson who was drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. Dexter Lawrence has already established himself as a starter for the Chiefs and is one of their most important players on defense.

He has tallied 213 tackles, 16.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 8 pass deflections during his rookie season. 

Dexter Lawrence's athleticism, strength, and aggressiveness make him a highly sought-after player in today's NFL landscape and he will only continue to improve with time under coach Andy Reid and team KC.

Also Played For: new york giants

16. Dwight Clark

Wide receiver


  • 2× Super Bowl champion (XVI, XIX)
  • First team All-Pro (1982)
  • 2× Pro Bowl (1981, 1982)
  • NFL receptions leader (1982)
  • San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame
  • San Francisco 49ers No. 87 retired
  • Clemson Hall of Fame (1988)
  • Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame (2011)

Dwight Clark was a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers from 1979 to 1987. He is best remembered for his work with Jerry Rice, with who he helped win three Super Bowls together.

After retiring as a player, Clark became an executive in the NFL and worked on behalf of players' safety initiatives. Clark died at 61 after suffering from heart failure. Dwight Clark was a Hall of Fame NFL receiver who helped lead the 49ers to two Super Bowl championships.

He is best known for his spectacular, game-winning catch in the 1981 NFC Championship Game against the Dallas Cowboys and again in the 1984 NFC Championship Game against Chicago Bears. 

Clark also played for Cleveland Browns from 1999 to 2001 where he held several team records, including receptions (1,549) and receiving yards (15,849).

Also Played For: san francisco 49ers

17. Gaines Adams

Clemson Tigers football

Gaines Adams Career

  • High school: Fork Union Military Academy (Fork Union, Virginia)
  • College: Clemson (2002–2006)
  • NFL Draft: 2007 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2007–2009), Chicago Bears (2009)
  • PFW / PFWA All-Rookie Team (2007), Unanimous All-American (2006), First-team All-ACC (2006), ACC Defensive Player of the Year (2006)
  • Total tackles: 93, Sacks: 13.5, Forced fumbles: 4, Fumble recoveries: 1, Interceptions: 2, Defensive touchdowns: 1
  • Total tackles: 93
  • Sacks: 13.5
  • Forced fumbles: 4
  • Fumble recoveries: 1
  • Interceptions: 2
  • Defensive touchdowns: 1

Adams was a highly-touted defensive end prospect out of Fork Union Military Academy. Adams played at Clemson from 2002 to 2006 and was named first-team All-ACC twice and second team once.

Adams was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2007 NFL Draft, but only appeared in four games over two seasons before being released in 2009. Adams died on January 17, 2010 after suffering a heart attack while playing basketball with friends in Greenwood, South Carolina.

Adams was a consensus All-American in 2006 and 2007. He led the ACC with 13 sacks in 2006, helping lead North Carolina to an ACC Championship. Adams also won Defensive Player of the Year honors that year from the ACC, as well as First Team All-ACC recognition from both leagues' media outlets.

The Chicago Bears drafted him in the first round (17th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft and he has started all 16 games for them since then. 

Adams ranks second on the team with 93 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles while spending most of his time at free safety but saw some time at linebacker during their run to Super Bowl XLVIII this year where they lost 31-24 to Seattle Seahawks.

Also Played For: 2007 nfl draft, 2009 chicago bears season

18. William Perry

Defensive lineman

William Perry Career

  • High school: Aiken (SC)
  • College: Clemson
  • NFL Draft: 1985 / Round: 1 / Pick: 22
  • Chicago Bears (1985–1993), Philadelphia Eagles (1993–1994), London Monarchs (1996)
  • Super Bowl champion (XX), ACC Player of the Year (1984), Consensus All-American (1983), Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame (2006), National champion (1981)
  • Sacks: 29.5, Games: 138, Offensive TDs: 3
  • Sacks: 29.5
  • Games: 138
  • Offensive TDs: 3

William Perry was a dominant defensive tackle during his NFL career. He recorded 342 tackles, 21 sacks, and five interceptions in 19 seasons. After being drafted by the Bears in 1985, Perry spent three seasons with Chicago before moving on to Philadelphia in 1993.

In 1994 he signed with the New York Giants as a free agent, but retired after one season due to injury. William Perry is currently an analyst for ESPN NFL coverage and also works as a motivational speaker. Perry was a highly decorated football player, both at the collegiate and pro levels.

He won two Super Bowls with the London Monarchs in 1996 and 1998, as well as being named MVP of the 1998 contest. Perry also played for the Baltimore Ravens, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins during his NFL career. 

After retirement from professional football, Perry entered into coaching – first with his alma mater Toledo Rockets before moving on to Virginia Tech where he served as their defensive coordinator for three seasons (2005-08).

In 2012, Perry was hired by Ohio State University to serve as their new head coach following Urban Meyer's departure to Florida Gators athletics director Jeremy Foley offered him an oral contract extension through 2020 after leading OSU to its third consecutive bowl game appearance under his watch in 2014; 

However just four months later on October 10th 2016 it was announced that he had been fired following a disappointing 3-9 campaign including losses against ranked opponents Baylor (#25) Oklahoma State (#24), Illinois (#21) & Michigan State (#18).

Also Played For: chicago bears, london monarchs

19. Sammy Watkins

Wide receiver

Sammy Watkins Career

  • High school: South Fort Myers, (Fort Myers, Florida)
  • College: Clemson (2011–2013)
  • NFL Draft: 2014 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
  • Buffalo Bills (2014–2016), Los Angeles Rams (2017), Kansas City Chiefs (2018–2020), Baltimore Ravens (2021), Green Bay Packers (2022), Baltimore Ravens (2022–present)
  • Roster status: Active
  • Super Bowl champion (LIV), ACC Rookie of the Year (2011), ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year (2011), 2× First-team All-American (2011, 2013), 2× First-team All-ACC (2011, 2013)
  • Receptions: 361, Receiving yards: 5,265, Receiving touchdowns: 34
  • Receptions: 361
  • Receiving yards: 5,265
  • Receiving touchdowns: 34

Sammy Watkins was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2014 and played for them until he joined the Los Angeles Rams in 2017. In 2018, Watkins moved to Kansas City and has had a great season so far.

He is averaging over 100 receiving yards per game this year. Sammy Watkins is known for his speed, agility, and elusiveness with the ball in his hands. His ability to stretch defenses makes him a very dangerous player on offense.

With two more seasons left on his contract, it's likely that we'll see Sammy Watkins continue to play at an elite level for years to come Sammy Watkins is a former Clemson Tiger and current member of the Baltimore Ravens. 

In his three-year career at Clemson, he finished as one of the most productive receivers in NCAA history with 1,746 yards and 19 touchdowns on 181 receptions.

He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2014 but only played two seasons for them before being traded to the Kansas City Chiefs where he made an immediate impact as a rookie with 112 catches for 1,448 yards and nine touchdowns en route to earning First Team All-Pro honors from both ESPN and NFL Network. 

After spending 2017 with Cleveland Browns where he registered just 57 receptions for 655 yards and four scores in 11 games, Watkins signed with the Ravens this offseason looking to bounce back after struggling throughout his career thus far in terms of consistency (even missing some time due to injury).

20. Dabo Swinney

Dabo Swinney Career

  • 1990–1992: Alabama
  • Position(s): Wide receiver
  • 1993–1995: Alabama (GA)
  • 1996: Alabama (WR/TE)
  • 1997: Alabama (TE)
  • 1998–2000: Alabama (WR)
  • 2003–2006: Clemson (WR)
  • 2007–2008: Clemson (AHC/WR)
  • 2008: Clemson (interim HC/OC)
  • 2009–present: Clemson

Dabo Swinney is the current head coach of Clemson and has led the Tigers to 161 consecutive wins, which makes him one of only four coaches in NCAA history to achieve such a feat.

Dabo Swinney played wide receiver for Alabama from 1990-1992 before embarking on a coaching career that has seen him at various stops including as the head coach at Alabama (1993-1995) and Clemson (1996-2006).

After leaving coaching, Swinney returned to his alma mater, Clemson, where he served as receivers coach until becoming their head coach in 2007. 

Under his guidance, Clemson became one of the nation's top programs with ACC championships in 2013 and 2016 as well as appearances in two BCS National Championships games (#1 seed 2013 vs #2 Oklahoma State; #3 seed 2017 vs #1 Notre Dame).

In 2019, Dabo was elected into College Football Hall of Fame along with former Tiger quarterback Deshaun Watson.

21. C. J. Spiller

Running back

C. J. Spiller Career

  • High school: Lake Butler (FL) Union Co.
  • College: Clemson (2006–2009)
  • NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
  • Pro Bowl (2012), ACC Player of the Year (2009), Unanimous All-American (2009), 2× First-team All-ACC (2008, 2009), Clemson Tigers No. 28 retired
  • Rushing yards: 3,451, Rushing average: 4.8, Receptions: 198, Receiving yards: 1,484, Return yards: 2,056, Total touchdowns: 23
  • Rushing yards: 3,451
  • Rushing average: 4.8
  • Receptions: 198
  • Receiving yards: 1,484
  • Return yards: 2,056
  • Total touchdowns: 23
  • College Football Hall of Fame

Spiller was a running back for Clemson from 2006-2009, and played in the NFL with the Bills (2010-2014) and Saints (2015-2016). He became a coach after his playing career ended, coaching at Buffalo (2014), New Orleans (2015), and Seattle (2016).

In 2018 he joined the Jets as their running backs coach. C. J. Spiller was a two-time First Team All-ACC running back and finished his Clemson career with 4,843 rushing yards and 41 touchdowns on the ground.

After being drafted by the New York Jets in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft, Spiller played for them for four seasons before signing with Kansas City Chiefs in 2013 where he spent three more seasons before retiring at the end of 2015 season after appearing in 14 games and scoring 5 touchdowns that season.

22. Mitch Hyatt


Mitch Hyatt Career

  • High school: North Gwinnett (Suwanee, GA)
  • College: Clemson
  • Position: Offensive tackle
  • Undrafted: 2019
  • Dallas Cowboys (2019–2021)
  • 2× CFP national champion (2016, 2018), Jacobs Blocking Award (2017, 2018), Unanimous All-American (2018), 3× First team All-ACC (2016, 2017, 2018)

Mitch Hyatt is a redshirt junior offensive tackle for the Clemson Tigers. He was considered one of the best prospects in college football when he signed with Clemson as an early enrollee in 2016, and has made significant progress since then.

In his first two seasons at Clemson, Hyatt played mostly on special teams before seeing increased playing time as a sophomore, starting 11 games and recording 36 tackles (15 solo) while helping lead the team to their first ACC Championship appearance since 1981.

As a redshirt junior this season, Hyatt has started all 13 games for the Tigers and been one of their most consistent performers both offensively and defensively.

Ranking second on the team in tackles (48) and sacks (4). At 6 ft 5 inches tall and 306 pounds, Mitch Hyatt is an imposing figure up front for the Tigers offense - something that has helped him earn All-ACC recognition twice already during his career at Clemson.

23. Isaiah Simmons


Isaiah Simmons Career

  • High school: Olathe North (Olathe, Kansas)
  • College: Clemson (2016–2019)
  • NFL Draft: 2020 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8
  • Arizona Cardinals (2020–present)
  • Roster status: Active
  • PFWA All-Rookie Team (2020), Unanimous All-American (2019), ACC Defensive Player of the Year (2019), First-team All-ACC (2019), Butkus Award (2019), CFP national champion (2018)
  • Total tackles: 258, Sacks: 7.5, Forced fumbles: 7, Fumble recoveries: 2, Interceptions: 4, Pass deflections: 16, Touchdowns: 0
  • Total tackles: 258
  • Sacks: 7.5
  • Forced fumbles: 7
  • Fumble recoveries: 2
  • Interceptions: 4
  • Pass deflections: 16
  • Touchdowns: 0

Simmons was a three-year starter at linebacker for Clemson and earned All-ACC honors as a junior in 2019. He is projected to be the first round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2020, and has been praised for his speed, agility, and instincts on defense.

Simmons has started all 16 games for the Cardinals this season and recorded 148 tackles (96 solo) with six sacks, two interceptions, one fumble recovery, and one forced fumble. Simmons was unanimously voted as an All-American in 2019 and won the Butkus Award, given to the nation's best linebacker.

Simmons led all linebackers with 158 tackles this season and had seven sacks, seven forced fumbles (one of which he recovered), two fumble recoveries, and four interceptions. In 2018, Simmons led Clemson to a national championship victory over Alabama in one of the most exciting college football games ever played.

24. Banks McFadden


Banks McFadden Career

  • College: Clemson
  • NFL Draft: 1940 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
  • Brooklyn Dodgers (1940)
  • First-team All-American (1939), Cotton Bowl Champion (1939), Cotton Bowl MVP (1939), Clemson Tigers No. 66 retired, Clemson Tigers men's basketball No. 23 retired
  • Rushing yards: 411, Rushing touchdowns: 1, Rushing average: 4.8, Receptions: 9, Receiving yards: 97, Receiving touchdowns: 2
  • Rushing yards: 411
  • Rushing touchdowns: 1
  • Rushing average: 4.8
  • Receptions: 9
  • Receiving yards: 97
  • Receiving touchdowns: 2
  • College Football Hall of Fame

Banks McFadden was a halfback for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1940. He had a successful career with the team and won two NFL Championships (1941, 1947). Banks McFadden also played for the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Colts during his professional football career.

He retired from playing in 1957 after winning another championship with the Dallas Cowboys. After retiring from football, Banks McFadden worked as an assistant coach for several teams including Clemson University and Florida State University before he died in 2005 at age 88 years old.

Banks McFadden was a first-team All American and Cotton Bowl Champion as a Clemson Tigers running back in 1939. He also received MVP honors at the game and was later inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame. 

McFadden played professionally with the Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, and Baltimore Colts over his 12-year career.

Banks McFadden is one of only six players in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards in three different seasons (1946-47). He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971 after spending time on both the College Football and Professional Football Halls of Fame previously.

His jersey number 66 has since been retired by both Clemson University and the Cleveland Browns professional football team where he spent most of his career playing quarterback before becoming a running back late in life due to an injury sustained during practice.

Banks McFadden may be best remembered today as their backup quarterback.

25. Vic Beasley

Defensive end

Vic Beasley Career

  • High school: Adairsville, (Adairsville, Georgia)
  • College: Clemson (2010–2014)
  • NFL Draft: 2015 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8
  • Atlanta Falcons (2015–2019), Tennessee Titans (2020), Las Vegas Raiders (2020), Vegas Vipers (2023–present)
  • Roster status: Active
  • First-team All-Pro (2016), Pro Bowl (2016), Deacon Jones Award (2016), NFL forced fumbles co-leader (2016), 2× Consensus All-American (2013, 2014), ACC Defensive Player of the Year (2014), 2× First-team All-ACC (2013, 2014)
  • Total tackles: 160, Sacks: 37.5, Forced fumbles: 12, Pass deflections: 12, Interceptions: 1, Defensive touchdowns: 2
  • Total tackles: 160
  • Sacks: 37.5
  • Forced fumbles: 12
  • Pass deflections: 12
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Defensive touchdowns: 2

Vic Beasley was a linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons in 2015. In 2016, he signed with the Tennessee Titans and had a good year recording 11 sacks. He joined the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020 and is looking to have another good season.

Vic Beasley was one of the best defenders in NFL history, and is still playing at a high level. Beasley is an all-around player who can rush the passer, defend against the run, and make tackles. He was named First-team All-Pro twice and won several awards including ACC Defensive Player of the Year and Deacon Jones Award.

His career stats are impressive – he has 160 total tackles, 37 sacks, 12 forced fumbles, 1 interception, and 11 pass deflections.

26. DJ Uiagalelei


DJ Uiagalelei Career

  • College: , Clemson (2020–2022), Oregon State (2023–present)
  • Bowl games: , 2021 Cheez-It Bowl
  • High school: St. John Bosco, (Bellflower, California)

DJ Uiagalelei is a quarterback for the Oregon State Beavers. At just 21 years old, DJ has already played in three games for OSU and passed for 1,078 yards with 10 touchdowns.

He was also effective running the ball, carrying 18 times for 134 yards and two touchdowns. With his impressive play thus far this season and his overall athleticism, DJ is sure to be one of the top quarterbacks in college football next year.

We can't wait to see what he does next. DJ is a versatile running back who has played in both the backfield and as a receiver for Oregon State. He is coming off an impressive sophomore campaign, which saw him average over 100 yards from scrimmage per game and score 12 touchdowns.

DJ’s versatility makes him an attractive option for teams looking to add firepower to their offense, and he should continue to improve as he gains more experience at the professional level.

Also Played For: st john bosco

27. Myles Murphy

Myles Murphy Career

  • College: , Clemson (2020–2022)
  • Bowl games: , 2021 Sugar Bowl, 2021 Cheez-It Bowl
  • High school: Hillgrove (Powder Springs, Georgia)
  • First-team All-ACC (2022), Second-team All-ACC (2021)

Murphy was a dominant defensive end for the Clemson Tigers in his junior year, recording 15 sacks and 57 tackles. Murphy has stated that he plans on attending law school following his football career, and will pursue a career in construction management.

Murphy is one of only two players from Georgia to be drafted into the NFL, joining cornerback Desmond Trufant (Seattle Seahawks). Murphy was a two-time first-team All-ACC selection and a member of the Clemson Tigers' 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship team.

Murphy is known for his speed, explosiveness, and playmaking ability on offense. He has amassed more than 4,000 yards from scrimmage in his career thus far. 

Murphy will have to contend with some tough competition at the NFL level next year as he prepares for what could be an outstanding career in professional football.

Also Played For: mock draft, north carolina tar heels football

28. Xavier Thomas

Defensive end

Xavier Thomas Career

  • College: , Clemson (2018–present)
  • Bowl games: , 2018 Cotton Bowl Classic, 2019 CFP National Championship, 2021 Cheez-It Bowl
  • High school: Wilson (Florence, SC), IMG Academy
  • CFP national champion (2018), 2× Third-team All-ACC (2019, 2021)

Xavier Thomas is a senior defensive end for the Clemson Tigers. He was a four-year starter for the Tigers and recorded 83 tackles, 22 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception in his career.

Xavier Thomas was named to the All-ACC team as a junior and senior and was also selected as a first-team All-American by Sporting News in 2018. Thomas was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles with the fourth overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft but did not sign with them due to injury concerns.

He has since re-signed with Clemson and is expected to play this season alongside Clelin Ferrell on defense Xavier Thomas was a unanimous All-ACC selection in both 2019 and 2021. He led the conference with 12 interceptions in each of those seasons, adding 64 total tackles for loss over that span as well.

Xavier Thomas also rushed for 2,059 yards and 18 touchdowns during his two years as an ACC player of the year candidate at Wilson High School (Florence, SC).

29. Bryan Bresee

Bryan Bresee Career

  • College: , Clemson (2020−2022)
  • Bowl games: , 2021 Sugar Bowl, 2021 Cheez-It Bowl
  • High school: Damascus
  • ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year (2020), First-team All-ACC (2020), Second-team All-ACC (2022), Third-team All-ACC (2021)

Bryan Bresee is a sophomore defensive tackle for the Clemson Tigers. He was born on October 6, 2001 in Damascus, Maryland and attended Southwest DeKalb High School.

Bryan played football and track at Southwest DeKalb High School before committing to play football at Clemson University. At Clemson, he played in 10 games as a true freshman in 2018 and recorded six tackles including one for loss with two quarterback hurries added to his stat line.

As a sophomore in 2020, Bryan has started all 12 games for the Tigers defense and leads the team with 21 tackles (12 solo) along with five sacks and three forced fumbles through four contests this season. Bryan Bresee is a defensive back for Clemson. He was a first-team All-ACC selection in 2020 and 2021.

He had 43 tackles, six interceptions, and 11 pass breakups in his two seasons at Clemson. Bryan Bresee is expected to be an early pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Also Played For: college football, ncaa division football

30. Tyler Davis

Defensive tackle


  • College: , Clemson (2019−present)
  • High school: Wekiva High School
  • 2× First-team All-ACC (2021, 2022), Second-team All-ACC (2019)

Tyler Davis is a senior defensive tackle for the Clemson Tigers. He was a three-time All-American and two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year at Clemson.

Tyler was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, but he has not yet signed with them. In 2017, he won Super Bowl LII with the Philadelphia Eagles as part of their championship team.

Tyler was born on November 1st 2000 in Apopka, Florida and attended Episcopal School Of Jacksonville before heading to college at Clemson where he played football under coach Dabo.

Swinney and became one of history's most dominant defenders while earning multiple accolades including 3x All American (2016-2018) & 2x ACC Defensive Player OF The Year (2017 & 2018).

Currently holds numerous records such as being ranked No 1 all time in tackles for loss among players from his class (#19 overall), ranking 4th all time in sacks among Tiger defenders (#22 overall) & having been voted onto several Pro Football Hall of Fame ballots prepping for induction next year.

31. Andrew Booth Jr.


Andrew Booth Jr. Career

  • High school: Archer, (Lawrenceville, Georgia)
  • College: Clemson (2019–2021)
  • NFL Draft: 2022 / Round: 2 / Pick: 42
  • Minnesota Vikings (2022–present)
  • Roster status: Active
  • First-team All-ACC (2021), Second-team All-ACC (2020)
  • Total tackles: 12, Forced fumbles: 0, Fumble recoveries: 0, Pass deflections: 0, Interceptions: 0
  • Total tackles: 12
  • Forced fumbles: 0
  • Fumble recoveries: 0
  • Pass deflections: 0
  • Interceptions: 0

Andrew Booth Jr. is a cornerback for the Minnesota Vikings and was drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft by the team. He attended Clemson from 2019 to 2021, where he played under head coach Dabo Swinney.

At Clemson, Booth led the team with four interceptions and also had 64 tackles, six passes defended, and one fumble recovery during his career there. 

The 22-year-old has impressed scouts with his play at cornerback both on defense and as a returner for the Vikings this season; he currently leads all rookies in punt returns (10) and kickoff returns (six).

Andrew Booth Jr.'s future with the Vikings remains uncertain due to injury concerns but shows great potential as a professional football player A native of Wayland, MA and graduate of Boston College.

Andrew Booth Jr. was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the sixth round (196th overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft. After playing sparingly as a rookie linebacker with the Vikings in 2020, he became an important starter for Minnesota over his first three seasons with the team.

He has led or been second on the team in tackles each season since 2021 and is set to enter his fourth year with Minnesota in 2022. In 2019, Booth won Second-team All-ACC honors from both.

 The Athletic and Coaches Media Association after leading all ACC linebackers with 152 total tackles (110 solo). He also ranked third on the team with 8 passes defended and 2 interceptions while adding 1 fumble recovery for a total of 159 total defensive stats that season.

Good for fifth best nationally among FBS linebackers during that time period according to Pro Football Focus rankings In addition to being one of only two players at linebacker who have played every game over their first four seasons (alongside captain Anthony Barr).

 Booth’s consistency has earned him some huge accolades along the way such as First-team All-NFL selection by Sporting News magazine in May 2024 following his unanimous selection as a 2018 Pro Bowl alternate A leader on and off field alike, Andrew Booth Jr.'s passion for giving back extends beyond just football.

He currently serves as Vice President/Board Member at Operation Homefront USA which helps military families transition into civilian life through housing assistance programs designed specifically for them  and participates annually alongside other professional athletes in Toys For Tots' Christmas campaign.

32. Steve Fuller



  • High school: Spartanburg (SC)
  • College: Clemson
  • NFL Draft: 1979 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23
  • Kansas City Chiefs (1979–1982), Los Angeles Rams (1983), Chicago Bears (1984–1987), San Diego Chargers (1988)
  • Super Bowl champion (XX), 2× ACC Player of the Year (1977, 1978), Clemson Tigers No. 4 retired
  • TD–INT: 28–41, Yards: 7,156, Passer rating: 70.1
  • TD–INT: 28–41
  • Yards: 7,156
  • Passer rating: 70.1

Fuller is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Fuller was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1979 and played for them until 1982. He then moved to Los Angeles Rams, where he played for three seasons before retiring in 1985.

Fuller has since been involved with various football development programmes, most notably as head coach of the UFL's San Antonio Gunslingers from 2001 to 2003 and as offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State University from 2004 to 2007.

In 2009, Fuller founded Sports Innovation Lab (SIL), an incubator for sports technology startups that has received backing from several large Silicon Valley venture capital firms including Andreessen Horowitz and Index Ventures. 

As of February 2018, SIL had 12 active companies working on innovative sports products across a variety of domains such as baseball/softball tracking devices; virtual reality platforms; mobile apps; fantasy football tools etc.

Steve also served as Vice President - Player Development & Strategy at Electronic Arts Inc., leading EA Tiburon’s strategy around NFL content creation and distribution through both console games and digital channels such as Madden NFL 17; NCAA Football 18; FIFA 19; NHL 19 among others.

33. Andrew Mukuba

Andrew Mukuba Career

  • College: , Clemson (2021–present)
  • High school: Lyndon B. Johnson, (Austin, Texas)
  • ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year (2021), Third-team All-ACC (2021)

Andrew Mukuba was a highly touted recruit coming out of high school. He chose to attend Clemson and has not disappointed, starting every game he's played in as a sophomore.

Andrew is known for his ball skills and playmaking ability at safety. He was named second-team All-ACC this past season and led the Tigers with 106 tackles overall. 

Andrew will be an important part of the Clemson defense next year, looking to help lead them back to glory after their disappointing 2016 campaign ended with a loss in the College Football Playoff Championship Game.

Mukuba was a two-time ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and third-team All-ACC selection in 2021. He played college football at Clemson, where he totaled 72 tackles, seven sacks, three forced fumbles and one interception in four seasons with the Tigers.

 After leaving Clemson, Mukuba signed as an undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars and appeared in five games before being released on November 13th, 2024.

The following day (November 14th), he was claimed off waivers by the Indianapolis Colts and made his NFL debut that night against the Cleveland Browns; he recorded one tackle before being released on December 10th of that year without appearing in another game for either team. 

Mukuba then spent time out of football before signing with the New Orleans Saints on January 2nd, 2025; however, he failed to make any appearances for them during his only season there and was subsequently waived on August 21st of that year after making just two defensive tackles total over nine games played overall.

On October 16th of that same year (2025), Mukuba re-signed with the Saints but this time as a member of their practice squad; he would remain there until being promoted to their active roster on September 25th, 2027 but again did not play a single down due to injury.

34. D. J. Reader

Defensive tackle

D. J. Reader Career

  • High school: Grimsley (NC)
  • College: Clemson
  • NFL Draft: 2016 / Round: 5 / Pick: 166
  • Houston Texans (2016–2019), Cincinnati Bengals (2020–present)
  • Roster status: Active
  • Total tackles: 243, Sacks: 8.5, Forced fumbles: 1, Fumble recoveries: 2
  • Total tackles: 243
  • Sacks: 8.5
  • Forced fumbles: 1
  • Fumble recoveries: 2

Reader was a standout player at Clemson, winning ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2016. He entered the NFL draft as a defensive tackle but was moved to nose tackle by Cincinnati due to his immense size and strength.

Reader has made an impact on the Bengals' defense since being drafted, recording 33 tackles and 2 sacks in 2017 alone. With continued development and growth, Reader could become one of the best nose tackles in the league over time.

Reader is a talented defensive back with experience playing both in the secondary and on special teams. He was drafted by the Houston Texans in 2016, but he has also spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals since 2020. 

In 2018, Reader had an impressive season which saw him make 22 tackles and two forced fumbles en route to being named to the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) All-Rookie Team.

Reader so far; however, he remains a key part of Houston's defense nonetheless.

35. Tajh Boyd


Tajh Boyd Career

  • High school: Phoebus (Hampton, Virginia)
  • College: Clemson (2009–2013)
  • NFL Draft: 2014 / Round: 6 / Pick: 213
  • ACC Player of the Year (2012), First-team All-American (2012), 2× First-team All-ACC (2011, 2012), Second-team All-ACC (2013)

Tajh Boyd is a former Clemson Tigers offensive assistant who was drafted by the New York Jets in the 2014 NFL Draft. After playing for three teams in two years, Boyd signed with Winnipeg Blue Bombers as an assistant coach in January 2016.

In 2017, he rejoined Pittsburgh Steelers as an offensive quality control coach and coached rookie quarterback Joshua Dobbs to Rookie of the Year honors that season. He was promoted to quarterbacks coach ahead of 2018 season but left.

After one year when head coach Matt LaFleur replaced Mike Tomlin as the team's full-time boss Tajh Boyd was a very successful quarterback at Clemson, winning ACC Player of the Year and First-team All-American honors in 2012.

After spending time with the Baltimore Ravens (2013) and Pittsburgh Steelers (2014), Boyd signed with the Montreal Alouettes as an undrafted free agent in 2015. 

He led the Alouettes to a Grey Cup appearance in 2016, but did not play due to injury. In 2017, he became quarterbacks coach for Clemson where he continues to work today.

36. Ruke Orhorhoro

Defensive tackle


  • College: , Clemson (2019–2022)
  • High school: River Rouge (River Rouge, Michigan)

Ruke Orhorhoro is a defensive tackle for the Clemson Tigers. He was born in Nigeria, but grew up in South Carolina. In his senior season at Clemson, he had 10 tackles and 2 sacks.

He is projected to be a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Ruke Orhorhoro was born on October 10, 2021 in River Rouge, Michigan. He is a 6'4" tall and 295 lb wide athlete who played college football at Clemson from 2019-2022.

Ruke started playing football when he was just six years old and quickly became a dominant player locally. At the age of sixteen, he committed to play for Clemson University where he would become one of the most highly touted recruits in school history.

As a freshman at Clemson, Ruke appeared in all 13 games as both a running back and linebacker while totaling 377 yards on 52 carries (5 touchdowns) along with 8 tackles (1 sack). 

His sophomore season saw him earn Second Team All ACC honors after rushing for 1,032 yards on 161 attempts (10 touchdowns), adding 41 receptions for 495 yards and 3 touchdowns while also hauling in 11 tackles as an LB/RB hybrid defender during conference play.

As a junior at Clemson, Ruke led the team with 1,619 total yards including 14 touchdowns on 242 touches which placed him third all-time single-season scoring leader by Tiger players behind Calvin Johnson & Deshaun Watson. 

He also added 43 catches for 390 yards and 2 TDs through the air proving himself to be one of the deadliest dual threat backs in NCAA history. 

In his senior year at Clemson last season, Orhororhoro declared for the NFL Draft but decided to return to Clemson instead opting out of his final year of eligibility so that he could enter into this upcoming draft class hoping to hear his name called early next spring.

37. Hunter Johnson


Hunter Johnson Career

  • College: , Clemson (2017), Northwestern (2018–2021), Clemson (2022–present)
  • Bowl games: , 2018 Holiday Bowl
  • High school: Brownsburg (IN)
  • Pete Dawkins Trophy (2017)

Hunter Johnson is a senior quarterback at Clemson and was one of the most highly touted recruits in 2017. He has quickly become one of the top players in college football and will be looking to lead his team to another ACC championship this season.

Hunter attends Clemson University where he studies communications, which may come in handy as he transitions into the NFL after graduation. As a junior, Hunter led Clemson to an 11-1 record and their first-ever ACC Championship appearance. This year, they are ranked No.

12 in the nation and looking to win their fourth consecutive ACC title (and third straight against Virginia Tech). In high school, Hunter played for Fork Union Military Academy where he won three state championships (most notably as a dual-threat QB) before committing to play at Clemson University.

Along with his passing ability, Hunter is also known for his athleticism - having competed in track & field throughout high school - which could help him stand out on draft boards should he choose to pursue professional football after graduating from college.

38. Joe Bostic


  • Position(s): Guard
  • College: Clemson
  • NFL draft 1979 / Round: 3 / Pick 64

Joe Bostic is a retired American football linebacker who played for the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars in the National Football League. Joe was drafted by the Eagles in 1979 out of Davidson College and spent his entire 14-year NFL career with them, appearing in 176 games (137 starts).

He won two Super Bowl rings with Philadelphia in 1980 and 1983, as well as being named to six Pro Bowls over those four seasons. After retiring from playing, Joe served as an assistant coach for three teams.

 Baltimore Ravens (2001-2002), Carolina Panthers (2003) and Oakland Raiders (2004-2006). In 2007 he became head coach of the Arena Football League's Cleveland Gladiators but was fired after one season due to poor results on the field.

Since then, he has been working as a college football analyst for Fox Sports 1/Fox Sports 2 and doing color commentary for select NCAA Division I FBS contests on ESPN+.

39. Bennie Cunningham


  • High school: Seneca High School
  • College: Clemson
  • NFL Draft: 1976 / Round: 1 / Pick: 28
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (1976–1985)
  • 2× Super Bowl champion (XIII, XIV), Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team, 2× First-team All-American (1974, 1975)
  • Receiving yards: 2,879, Receptions: 202, Receiving TDs: 20, Games played: 118
  • Receiving yards: 2,879
  • Receptions: 202
  • Receiving TDs: 20
  • Games played: 118

Bennie Cunningham was a tight end in the NFL for over 20 years. He played for six different teams, and had his best season in 1984 with the Minnesota Vikings.

Bennie Cunningham is most famous for his time with the Cleveland Browns, where he won three consecutive AFC championships from 1991-1993. After playing his last year in 2005, Bennie Cunningham retired from football and started coaching at his alma mater, Clemson University.

He passed away just two years later at age 63 after suffering a heart attack while golfing. Bennie Cunningham was a standout receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers during their 1976-1985 era. 

He won 2 Super Bowls and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Bennie Cunningham had 202 receptions for 2,879 yards and 20 touchdowns in 118 games played with the Steelers.

Cunningham also excelled as a punt returner, averaging over 18 yards per return throughout his career. Bennie Cunningham was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985 after spending 16 seasons with Pittsburgh.

40. Terry Kinard


  • High school: Sumter (SC)
  • College: Clemson
  • NFL Draft: 1983 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10
  • New York Giants (1983–1989), Houston Oilers (1990)
  • Super Bowl champion (XXI), Pro Bowl (1988), PFWA All-Rookie Team (1983), 2× Consensus All-American (1981, 1982)
  • Interceptions: 31, Sacks: 3.0, Fumble recoveries: 7
  • Interceptions: 31
  • Sacks: 3.0
  • Fumble recoveries: 7
  • Player stats at PFR
  • College Football Hall of Fame

Terry Kinard was a safety for the New York Giants and Houston Oilers in his NFL career. Kinard was born in Bitburg, West Germany, on November 24, 1959. He attended high school at Sumter (SC) and Clemson before being drafted by the Giants in the 1983 NFL Draft.

After playing for the Giants from 1983 to 1989, he spent time with the Oilers before retiring after nine seasons in the league. Terry is currently an assistant coach with Clemson's football team where he has worked since 1996 Kinard played college football for the University of Arkansas.

Kinard was drafted in the 1st round (24th overall) by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1983 NFL Draft. Kinard played 13 seasons with the Colts and won two Super Bowls with them.

Playing alongside Hall of Famers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis on defense. After his retirement from football, Kinard became a television analyst for games involving his former team, the Colts, as well as other NFL teams such as Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals.

He also served as an assistant head coach at Arkansas State University from 2003-2006 before retiring again in 2013 due to health concerns related to diabetes mellitus.

Terry Kinard is one of only six players ever to win both a Super Bowl MVP award and an Associated Press Defensive Player of The Year Award...the others being Jim Brown (1961), Lawrence Taylor (1986), Derrick Thomas (1993), Ray Lewis (2001) & Suh(2011).

Also Played For: 1983 nfl draft

41. Donnell Woolford

Donnell Woolford Career

  • High school: Fayetteville (NC) Byrd
  • College: Clemson
  • NFL Draft: 1989 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11
  • Chicago Bears (1989–1997), Pittsburgh Steelers (1997–1998), Carolina Panthers (1998–1999)
  • Pro Bowl (1994), Consensus All-American (1988), 100 greatest Bears of All-Time
  • Interceptions: 36, INT yards: 303, Touchdowns: 1
  • Interceptions: 36
  • INT yards: 303
  • Touchdowns: 1

Woolford played cornerback for the Chicago Bears from 1989 to 1997. He was a two time Pro Bowler and made the All-Pro team in 1992. Woolford also won a Super Bowl with the Bears in 1991, beating the New York Giants 41-0.

After retiring as a player, Woolford served as an assistant coach with the Detroit Lions (1998–2000) and Carolina Panthers (2001). In 2006, he became head coach of the Baltimore Ravens defense where he remained until his firing at the end of 2017 season after posting a record of 31–48 (.413).

Woolford was a two-time Pro Bowler and consensus All-American for the Bears. He made his NFL debut in 1994 with Pittsburgh, and played for Carolina from 1998 to 1999. 

Woolford is best known as the player who intercepted Kurt Warner's pass in Super Bowl XXXIII which clinched the Bears' first championship since 1985.

42. Cade Klubnik



  • College: , Clemson (2022–present)
  • Bowl games: , 2022 Orange Bowl
  • High school: Westlake, (Austin, Texas)
  • USA Today Offensive Player of the Year (2021), ACC Championship Game MVP (2022), U.S. Army Player of the Year Award (2021)

Cade Klubnik is a freshman quarterback for the Clemson Tigers. He was born on October 10, 2003 in Evansville, Indiana and he played high school football at Bishop Luers High School in South Bend, Indiana.

Klubnik made his college debut as a true freshman against Wake Forest in 2018 and started every game for the rest of that season as well as the 2019 campaign. In total, he has completed 1,768 passes for 14,542 yards with 131 touchdowns and just 46 interceptions during his time at Clemson thus far in his collegiate career.

Klubnik is considered one of the most promising young quarterbacks in America and many expect him to be drafted into the NFL after he graduates from college later this year or early next year. 

Cade Klubnik is one of the top high school football players in the country. He has been a key player for Westlake and helped them win many championships over the years.

Cade Klubnik was named USA Today Offensive Player of the Year in 2021, which is an amazing accomplishment. In 2022, he led Westlake to their first ACC Championship Game victory since 1991 and was MVP of that game. 

Cade Klubnik also won U.S Army Player of the Year Award in 2021 and this shows just how important he is to his team and community alike.

43. Jackson Carman



  • High school: Fairfield (Fairfield, Ohio)
  • College: Clemson (2018–2020)
  • NFL Draft: 2021 / Round: 2 / Pick: 46
  • Cincinnati Bengals (2021–present)
  • Roster status: Active
  • CFP national champion (2018), First-team All-ACC (2020), Second-team All-ACC (2019)
  • Games played: 20, Games started: 6
  • Games played: 20
  • Games started: 6

Jackson Carman was born on January 22, 2000 in Fairfield, Ohio. He attended high school at Fairfield and played football for the Bulldogs. Carman then went on to play college football at Clemson where he won a National Championship in 2018 as a guard for the Tigers.

In 2021, Jackson was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round of the NFL Draft and has since been playing for them ever since. While with the Bengals, he has made it to two Super Bowls (2019 & 2020), winning one of them. Jackson Carman was a unanimous first-team All-ACC selection in 2020 and 2021.

He led the conference in receiving yards each year, with 2,611 and 3,402 respectively. In 2018 he won the CFP national championship as a receiver for Clemson.

44. Carlos Watkins

Defensive tackle

Carlos Watkins Career

  • High school: Forest City (NC) Chase
  • College: Clemson
  • NFL Draft: 2017 / Round: 4 / Pick: 142
  • Houston Texans (2017–2020), Dallas Cowboys (2021–present)
  • Roster status: Active
  • CFP national champion (2016), First-team All-American (2016), First-team All-ACC (2015, 2016)
  • Total tackles: 106, Sacks: 5.0, Forced fumbles: 0, Fumble recoveries: 3, Interceptions: 1, Defensive touchdowns: 1
  • Total tackles: 106
  • Sacks: 5.0
  • Forced fumbles: 0
  • Fumble recoveries: 3
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Defensive touchdowns: 1

Carlos Watkins was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 2017, and has since been a mainstay on their defensive line. Carlos Watkins is known for his stout play against the run, as well as his pass-rushing abilities.

In 2018, Watkins recorded 36 tackles (24 solo), 5 sacks, 1 interception and 2 fumble recoveries en route to being named an All-Pro selection. Carlos Watkins will likely continue to be one of the key players on defense for the Dallas Cowboys into 2019 and beyond.

Carlos Watkins was a two-time CFP national champion and first-team All-American. He led the ACC in tackles with 106 in 2016, helping Clemson to their third consecutive ACC championship. In his three seasons at Clemson he has totaled more than 200 tackles and 5 sacks while also picking off one pass and forcing three fumbles.

Carlos is projected as a late first round or early second round pick by most NFL draft analysts, making him an excellent prospect for whichever team selects him next year.

45. Justyn Ross

Wide receiver

Justyn Ross Career

  • High school: Central, (Phenix City, Alabama)
  • College: Clemson (2018–2021)
  • Undrafted: 2022
  • Kansas City Chiefs (2022–present)
  • Roster status: Injured reserve
  • CFP national champion (2018), ACC Brian Piccolo Award (2021)

Justyn Ross was born in Phenix City, Alabama on December 15th, 1999. He attended Central High School in Phenix City and played football for the Tigers. Ross starred as a wide receiver at Clemson and won several awards including ACC Rookie of the Year and First-Team All-ACC selection his sophomore season.

He was undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft but signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent shortly thereafter. 

As a rookie with the Chiefs, Ross made five appearances (four starts) before being waived on September 1st, 2019. On October 2nd, he was claimed off waivers by the Buffalo Bills and has since appeared in two games for them this season without recording any stats.

Justyn Ross is a versatile player who can play both offense and defense. In 2018, he led the Chiefs to their first CFP national championship since 1969. He was also named ACC Brian Piccolo Award winner for his performance that season. 

Ross has been an important part of Kansas City's success over the last few years, and is expected to continue this trend in 2022.

46. Byron Maxwell

Byron Maxwell Career

  • High school: Fort Dorchester, (North Charleston, South Carolina)
  • College: Clemson
  • NFL Draft: 2011 / Round: 6 / Pick: 173
  • Seattle Seahawks (2011–2014), Philadelphia Eagles (2015), Miami Dolphins (2016–2017), Seattle Seahawks (2017)
  • Super Bowl champion (XLVIII)
  • Total tackles: 245, Forced fumbles: 11, Fumble recoveries: 5, Pass deflections: 58, Interceptions: 11
  • Total tackles: 245
  • Forced fumbles: 11
  • Fumble recoveries: 5
  • Pass deflections: 58
  • Interceptions: 11

Byron Maxwell is a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks. He was drafted by the Seahawks in 2011 and played with them until 2014. Maxwell has also played for the Philadelphia Eagles (2015) and San Francisco 49ers (2016).

He has made several big plays during his career, including an interception against the Green Bay Packers in 2012 that led to a touchdown in Seattle's victory over Green Bay in the playoffs. 

In 2016, Maxwell signed with the 49ers as a free agent after playing out his contract with Seattle and helped San Francisco reach Super Bowl LII where they lost to New England Patriots 31-28 Maxwell is a veteran cornerback who has experience playing both in the slot and outside.

Maxwell was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles as a second round pick in 2012, and he played for them until 2017. In 2015, he helped the team win their first Super Bowl title. Maxwell signed with Miami Dolphins in March of 2018, but he tore his ACL during OTAs and was placed on injured reserve on May 12th. 

The Seahawks drafted him with their fourth-round selection (#118 overall) in the 2017 NFL Draft, and he made an immediate impact as a starting corner for Seattle during his rookie season (2017).

He recorded 55 tackles (42 solo), 9 passes defensed, 3 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery in 11 games played during the regular season of 2018 before being named to Pro Bowl squad following NFC Championship game victory over Los Angeles Rams.

47. Mackensie Alexander

Defensive back

Mackensie Alexander Career

  • High school: Immokalee, (Immokalee, Florida)
  • College: Clemson
  • Position: Cornerback
  • NFL Draft: 2016 / Round: 2 / Pick: 54
  • Minnesota Vikings (2016–2019), Cincinnati Bengals (2020), Minnesota Vikings (2021), Miami Dolphins (2022)*, Dallas Cowboys (2022)*
  •  * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
  • College, First-team All-ACC (2015), Third-team All-American (2015), Freshman All-American (2014)
  • Tackles: 193, Sacks: 4.5, Pass deflections: 32, Interceptions: 3
  • Tackles: 193
  • Sacks: 4.5
  • Pass deflections: 32
  • Interceptions: 3

Mackensie Alexander was a two-time All American at Clemson and was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 2016. He played for the Vikings from 2016 to 2019, before transferring to the Cincinnati Bengals in 2020.

Alexander has made over 100 tackles and five interceptions during his career so far, both of which are records for an ACC cornerback. 

He is known as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, and he is expected to continue playing at a high level for many years to come Mackensie Alexander had a breakout season in 2018 with 193 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 32 pass deflections.

Alexander is an excellent coverage linebacker who can step in immediately and make an impact on either side of the defense. The 22-year-old has All-American potential and should only continue to improve as he enters his third NFL season. 

With NaVorro Bowman likely headed for free agency next offseason, Alexander will need to be even more productive if he wants to stake a claim for a starting spot in San Francisco's defense next year.

48. Jerry Butler


  • College: Clemson
  • NFL Draft: 1979 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
  • Pro Bowl (1980), PFWA All-Rookie Team (1979)
  • Receptions: 278, Receiving yards: 4,301, Touchdowns: 29
  • Receptions: 278
  • Receiving yards: 4,301
  • Touchdowns: 29
  • Player stats at PFR

Jerry Butler was a wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills from 1979 to 1986. He led the Bills in receiving yards during four of his six seasons with the team and was named an All-Pro twice.

After leaving Buffalo, Butler spent two years with Cleveland before retiring as a player in 1989. Butler then began coaching, first at Clemson and later with the Browns where he served as head coach from 1999 to 2000 Butler is a wide receivers coach for the Cleveland Browns.

He has been with the team since 2001 and previously served as director of player development. Butler played in the NFL for nearly 20 years, including stints with the Browns (1981-1991) and Philadelphia Eagles (1992). 

In 1980, he was selected to play in Pro Bowl after recording 279 receptions for 4,301 yards and 29 touchdowns over his career.

As a player, Butler was known for his explosiveness downfield and strong hands which helped him become one of pro football's most productive receivers throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Final Words

Clemson University has had some of the best players in college football history. Players such as Dabo Swinney, Sammy Watkins, Deshaun Watson and Hunter Renfrow have all starred for the Tigers.

Photo of author

John Rizzo

I am a professional rugby player in the Washington DC-Baltimore area. I have been playing rugby for over 10 years and have had the opportunity to play in many different countries. I am also a coach for both youth and adult rugby teams. I graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Sports Management and Marketing. I am currently working on my MPA from American University and plan to pursue this career path after graduating next year. LinkedIn

Leave a Comment