Born in Timmonsville, Abraham prepped at Lamar High where he was primarily a track athlete. While there, he set the state record for the 200-meter dash (22.6) and, as a senior, participated in organized football for the first time.
He played at USC for Coach Brad Scott and amassed 23.5 sacks, ranking second on the Gamecocks’ career list, and was a first-team All-SEC selection. Drafted in the first round in 2000, he had an immediate impact on the New York Jets.
As a rookie, he recorded 12 tackles and 4.5 sacks in only six games before being injured. In 2001, he had 58 tackles and 13 sacks, and was named to the AFC Pro Bowl. In 2002, he noted 48 tackles with 10 sacks, and was again named to the Pro Bowl. In 2003, Abraham logged only 37 tackles and six sacks, because of injury. Nevertheless, he tied a franchise record set by Joe Klecko and Mark Gastineau with four sacks in a 2001 game against the New Orleans Saints. Abraham was traded to the Atlanta Falcons and in 2008 recorded a career-high 16.5 sacks and ranked third in the league.
On December 12, 2010, Abraham had two sacks against the Carolina Panthers which gave him 100.5 for his career, making him only the 25th player in NFL history to eclipse 100. In 2010, Abraham was selected to his fourth Pro Bowl. He signed with the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 and in his first season there, he recorded 11.5 sacks, ranking him seventh in the NFL. He retired after the 2014 season with five Pro Bowl appearances, and Bowl appearances, and three first-team and one second team All-Pro honors.
The Lancaster native starred at USC as a linebacker (1955-57) and earned American Football League All-Star honors four straight years (1961-64) with the Boston Patriots as well as being one of the first players ever selected to be a Patriot All-League player (in 1960). During one stretch, he played in 84 straight games, had 16 career interceptions, including five in 1962. Addison served as the first president of the AFL Players Association.
Noted for his toughness, Allen is perhaps the most resilient runner in Clemson history, as he was the Tigers’ top rusher in 1987 and 1988, and only a knee injury prevented him from leading the team in 1989. Allen rushed for 2,778 yards and 28 TDs over three seasons and was a member of two ACC championship squads (1987 and 1988). After redshirting in 1986, Allen burst on the scene in 1987 and led the ACC in rushing, setting a Clemson freshman record (973 yards). In 1988 as a sophomore, he again led the team in rushing (1,192 yards), and the year was climaxed with his selection as the offensive MVP of the Citrus Bowl victory over Oklahoma. After his junior year, Allen turned pro and was drafted in the 10th round by the Minnesota Vikings. In his 10-year NFL career, he had five 1,000-yard seasons and 79 touchdowns. He played with Minnesota, Washington, New England, New Orleans and the Baltimore Ravens, and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1996. He is the first running back in NFL history to return from torn ACL injuries on both knees.
Mike Ayers served as head coach at Wofford from 1988 to 2017 and finished his 33-year coaching career with a record of 218-160-2. During his 30-year tenure at Wofford, he led the Terriers to a 207-139-1 record. Ayers guided the Terriers from the NAIA and NCAA Division II ranks to Division I and the Southern Conference.
Along the way, his teams made two appearances in the Division II Playoffs (1990 and ’91), eight appearances in the NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs (03, ’07, ’08, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’16 and ’17), and claimed Southern Conference titles in 2003, ‘07, ‘10, ‘12 and ‘17. Ayers was named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year five times. In 2003, he was named the recipient of the Eddie Robinson Award as the top Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) coach after leading the Terriers to the national semifinals.
He led Wofford to the quarterfinals five times. Among the many other honors Ayers received for his Hall of Fame coaching career was the recognition by Wofford when the field at Gibbs Stadium was named in his honor.
A Savannah, Ga., product, Edwin Bailey was a S.C. State University offensive guard who earned NCAA Division I-AA All-America honors in 1980. A fifth-round NFL draft pick by Seattle in 1981, he enjoyed a stellar 11-year career (1981-91), starting 121 of his 139 career games at left guard and ranking No. 1 all-time at retirement in games started for the Seahawks. He played on Seattle teams that captured the AFC West title in 1988 and on the squad that went 12-4 in 1984. Bailey, who played for Coach Bill Davis at S.C. State, was a three-time All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference performer, and was inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame.
The Clemson star wide receiver (1959-61) from Fairfax, Ala., played in the East-West Game and Hula Bowl, and went on to a National Football League career (1961-67), helping the Green Bay Packers win the NFL Championship. The two-time All-ACC player is the last player to score in a “Big Thursday” game and the first to score for the Atlanta Falcons.
THOMAS "BLACK CAT" BARTON
The Lancaster native and Clemson football star (1949-52) earned All-America honors in 1952 and played in the Gator, Orange and Hula bowls, and in the College All-Star Game. Coach Frank Howard chose him for his 30- year all-time team. He served as the longtime president of Greenville Technical College.
JOE "HAWK" BLALOCK
The Clemson football standout (1939-41) and the school’s first two-time All-American led the Tigers in receiving three consecutive years, helping his team secure a bid for the 1940 Cotton Bowl. An inaugural member of Clemson’s Hall of Fame, Blalock was selected by both the Sporting News and the Central Press Association as a first-team end on the 1941 College Football All-America Team. He was also selected by United Press International as a second-team All-American in 1940.
FELIX "DOC" BLANCHARD
Bishopville’s bullish fullback and linebacker Blanchard led the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) to national titles in 1944 and 1945, and captured the Heisman Trophy in addition to the Maxwell and James E. Sullivan Awards in the latter year. He scored 38 touchdowns in his Army career and served as the Cadets’ place-kicker and punter. Time and Life magazines featured Blanchard and Army backfield mate Glenn Davis -- Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside -- on their covers in 1945. Hollywood caught the fever as well with the 1947 movie Spirit of West Point, starring the pair as themselves. West Point coach Earl “Red” Blaik once said of his star, “Imagine a big bruising fullback who runs 100 yards in 10 seconds flat, who kicks off into the end zone, who punts 50 yards, who can also sweep the flank as well as rip the middle, who catches laterals or forward passes with sure-fingered skill, and who makes his own interference. That’s Mr. Blanchard.” Blanchard served as a jet pilot in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars, flying 113 combat missions and earning the Distinguished Flying Cross. In his honor, the town of Bishopville erected a statue of him.
The Clemson standout offensive lineman (1977-79) was named to the all-time Tigers team. The Greensboro, N.C., native played in four Super Bowls, winning three with the Washington Redskins (1982, 1987, 1991) and was a proud member of the “Hogs.” In 2006, ESPN picked the 1983 Pro Bowler for its 40-man roster of greatest Super Bowl players and he is listed among the “70 Greatest Redskins.”
A two-time Clemson All-American and All-Atlantic Coast Conference pick in 1977 and 1978, Bostic, who was the cornerstone of the offensive line, was honored with the Jacobs Blocking Trophy in 1977. He later played 10 years as an offensive guard for the National Football League’s St. Louis Cardinals and was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team. Joe, the older of the two brothers from Greensboro, N.C., was selected as a member of Clemson’s Centennial Team in 1996 and the “50-Year All-ACC Team.”
Named All-State and a Shrine Bowl participant from Columbia’s Spring Valley High, Peter Boulware, who later starred as a defensive end at Florida State, earned consensus All-America honors. Playing for legendary FSU coach Bobby Bowden, Boulware was one of six defensive ends selected to Sports Illustrated’s all-20 th Century College Football team. A converted linebacker, Boulware was selected as Football News’ National Defensive Player of the Year and the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year.
He was the fourth overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft and spent his entire eight-year pro career with the Baltimore Ravens. He was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team as the league’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1997 and was selected for four Pro Bowls (1998, ’99, ’02 and ’03). A member of the 1999 All-Pro Team, Boulware won a Super Bowl ring with the 2001 Ravens. For his pro career, he recorded 403 tackles, 70 sacks, 14 forced fumbles and one interception.
The Wofford College quarterback earned All-State honors three times and gained Little All-America laurels in 1957 as he teamed with Jerry Richardson to form the Terriers’ famed passing duo of that era. He also starred in the business world as founder of Spartan Foods and Hardee’s hamburger franchises.
The Johns Island native set South Carolina State and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference receiving (26.7 yards per catch) and return records before becoming a two-time NFL Pro Bowl receiver (1982-83). In his pro career, Brown had 330 receptions for 3,548 yards (16.1-yard average) and 25 touchdowns, and played a key role in the Washington Redskins’ Super Bowl championship teams in 1983 and 1984.
Drafted by the New England Patriots in the eighth round of the 1993 NFL Draft, Brown, a Barnwell native, played at Blackville-Hilda High, where his team won the state championship in 1988 with a 14-1 record. He played collegiately as a wide receiver and returner at Marshall University, where the Herd captured the NCAA I-AA National Championship. His career kickoff return average (29.69 yards per return) was an NCAA record, as are his four kickoff returns for touchdowns. He scored a touchdown every eight times he touched the ball. Brown played his entire 15-year pro career with the New England Patriots earning three Super Bowl rings. He retired as the franchise leader in career receptions. For his career, he earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro status in 2001, was on five AFC championship teams, and held a spot on the Patriots All-2000s team and New England’s “50th Anniversary Team.” On May 11, 2010, Brown was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame and was voted into the New England Patriots Hall of Fame by fan vote in June, 2012.
The USC football and baseball star (1964-67) was named All-ACC in both sports as well as ACC Athlete of the Year. Bryant was a stellar defensive back, kick returner (setting a school record with a 98-yard punt return) and a southpaw pitcher who set the school record for career strikeouts. Nicknamed “Bones” for his wiry 6-foot, 175-pound frame, Bryant enjoyed a great NFL career (1967-81) with the Minnesota Vikings, playing in the Pro Bowl and four Super Bowls. He made All-Pro in 1975 and picked off 57 career interceptions.
The Clemson second-team All-American played a key role on the Tigers’ 1981 national championship team, leading the Tigers in sacks and tackles for losses. The defensive lineman from Atlanta, Ga., became a first-round draft pick, sixth overall, and set sack records (with a career-high 14.5 in 1984) in an 11-year career with the NFL Seattle Seahawks. In 1996, he was named to Clemson’s All-Centennial team.
After earning 14 letters in four sports at Ware Shoals High, Butler became a first-team All-American wide receiver for Clemson in 1978, and was MVP of the 1977 Gator Bowl. The first-round NFL pick hauled in 139 career passes for 2,223 yards and 11 touchdowns and played eight years of professional ball, setting one-game records of 255 yards and four touchdowns for the Buffalo Bills. He twice won the Bills’ “Man of the Year Award” for his community service.
The Chester native became an All-American lineman and three-time All-Southeastern Conference star at the University of Georgia. After an NFL career in which he made All-Pro in 1960 while with Philadelphia, the World War II Army veteran served as head coach of the Eagles and Atlanta Falcons (twice).
"BIG" JOHN CANNADY
The first professional football player from Charleston, Cannady earned All-Big 10 honors as a linebacker at Indiana (1945-47). He was named to the Pro Bowl (1950) and an All-Pro (1951, 1953) with the New York Giants as a teammate of Frank Gifford. He was voted the NFL most outstanding player in 1950.
JAMES C. "J.C." CAROLINE*
The four-sport star at Columbia’s Booker T. Washington High became a football All-American at Illinois (1953-54), where he led the nation in rushing with 1,256 yards. He enjoyed a stellar NFL career with the Chicago Bears (1956-63), with 24 career interceptions and an All-Pro appearance in 1956 after spending the 1955 season in the Canadian Football League. He is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
The Florence product blossomed into a two-time All-State and two-time All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference star, and an AP Small College All-American at South Carolina State in 1975, as well as being elected senior class president. He then became a Pro Bowl linebacker, defensive captain and Super Bowl champion (1987) during a 13-year career with the New York Giants – a career that catapulted him to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
The Aiken native and All-American (1971-73) at S.C. State was drafted in the second round (36th overall) of the 1973 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He was selected by the Associated Press as a first-team defensive end on the 1972 Little All-America college football team.
He played his entire NFL career with the Broncos from 1973-1985 and held the team sack record when he retired. He earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro recognition during his 14-year career, and worked tirelessly for charities.
The unheralded Clemson end (1975-78) averaged 17.3 yards per catch during his college career and developed into a fine NFL receiver at San Francisco, where he will forever be known for “The Catch” from 49ers quarterback Joe Montana vs. Dallas in the NFC Championship Game. He twice played in the Pro Bowl and in 1982, was recognized as an All-Pro and was honored as the NFL Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated.
He earned the nickname “the Gaffney Ghost” while starring as an elusive ball carrier at Gaffney High and USC (1931-33). The 1933 All-Southern Conference selection led the Gamecocks to three consecutive victories over Clemson. He was a member of the last USC team to play home games at Melton Field.
Dexter Coakley starred as a linebacker at Wando High and then at Appalachian State from 1993-96. The Mt. Pleasant native was the Southern Conference’s Freshman of the Year and then became the league’s defensive player of the year three times (1994, 1995 and 1996).
During these same years, he also garnered All-America honors three times. He was a two-time Buck Buchanan Award recipient (the first two inaugural awards in 1995 and 1996), as the citation signifies that he was the top defensive player in I-AA (now FCS).
Coakley was a third-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys and played there from 1997-04. He earned a spot on the All-Rookie team, was twice named All-Pro (1999 and 2001) and participated in the Pro Bowl three times.
In 1999, he also earned first-team All-Pro recognition from Sports Illustrated and second-team All-Pro honors from College & Pro Football Newsweekly and Football Digest. After playing for the St. Louis Rams in 2005 and 2006, he retired from the NFL after 10 seasons.
In 2011, Coakley earned an honored spot in the College Football Hall of Fame.
A Greenwood native, Coates starred at Livingstone (N.C.) College and was a fifth-round NFL draft pick by New England in 1991. His first two years with the Patriots were fairly uneventful; however, his career changed with the 1993 arrival of quarterback Drew Bledsoe and head coach Bill Parcells to the Patriots franchise. Parcells, known for his reliance on tight ends, frequently used then-rookie quarterback Bledsoe on passes to Coates, and the tight end led the Patriots in receptions in 1993 with 53 catches for 629 yards and eight scores. Coates became a five-time Pro Bowler (1994-98), two-time first-team All-Pro (1994-95), and second-team All-Pro (1998). Selected to the 1990s NFL All-Decade Team, the 6-foot-5, 245-pound tight end was inducted into the Patriots’ Hall of Fame in 2008. He played his final year (2000) with Baltimore and won a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV. He retired as the No. 4 all-time tight end in catches (499 for 5,555 yards and 50 TDs).
JAMES HARTLEY COLEMAN
The three-sport star at Florence High became Furman University’s football captain and All-State center (1921-24). He later coached Honea Path High from 1925-39 and again from 1942-46, compiling a 101-56-17 record and winning state championships in 1937 and 1945. After coaching, he officiated high school and college football while serving as a school administrator.
The Clemson walk-on who did not play high school football became the Tigers’ first 2,000-yard rusher (1948-50), scored 31 touchdowns and starred on two undefeated teams before playing in the NFL from 1951-57 with the Green Bay Packers. At Green Bay, the Pine Apple, Ala., native scored 455 points on 16 touchdowns, 53 field goals and 200 points after touchdowns. Clemson coach Frank Howard described Cone as “the best player I ever coached.”
Craig was an All-Southern Conference end in 1938 at USC where he served as captain of the football and track teams. He became a six-time, two-way NFL All-Pro as a blocking back-defensive end with the Green Bay Packers from 1939-50.
The Seneca All-State star continued his football success at nearby Clemson, catching 64 passes for 1,044 yards and 10 touchdowns. The All-ACC star and two-time All-American (1974-75) became a first-round pick in 1976 and a standout NFL tight end for Pittsburgh (1976-85), helping the Steelers capture Super Bowl titles in 1978 and 1979. He is a member of the Steelers All-Time team after catching 202 passes for 2,879 yards and 20 touchdowns.
As a USC senior in 1976, Currier captured the Steve Wadiak MVP Award, the Bill Guerard Award for highest academics, and the Rex Enright Captain’s Award – the only player to win all in one season. The Glen Burnie, Md., native and three-year starter at defensive back participated in the Blue-Gray All-Star Game and went on to play nine years in the NFL as a defensive back with the Houston Oilers (earning All-Rookie honors), New England Patriots and played his final five with the New York Giants. While there, he was honored with the New York City Touchdown Club Unsung Hero Award for community involvement.
Born in Florence and raised in North Charleston, David played in two College World Series and ranked second in the nation in pass receiving at Colorado A&M (now Colorado State) before becoming a six-time Pro Bowler (1955-60) for the NFL’s Detroit Lions. He earned All-Pro cornerback honors in 1954 and helped lead the Lions to three world championships and four division titles. He later served as an NFL assistant coach for 13 years. The Lions named him to their all-time team in 2008.
The Clemson star (1978-81) earned ACC Player of the Year and first- team All-America linebacker accolades as a senior when he led the defense in tackles with 175. The team captain led the 12-0 Tigers to the national championship in 1981, and was named MVP of the Orange Bowl. The Greensboro, N.C., native is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
An Allen University star of the 1960s from Ocilla, Ga., Davis became a stalwart offensive lineman and team captain for Pittsburgh, helping the Steelers win four Super Bowls. He started at left guard in every regular season game for the Steelers from 1970-79, and was named to the Steelers 50th Season All-Time Team.
A Spartanburg native and a graduate of Spartanburg High, Davis played three years (1993-95) for Auburn University, starting in his sophomore year. He made the All-SEC team his last two seasons and graduated as Auburn’s fourth all-time leading rusher behind Joe Cribbs, James Brooks and Bo Jackson. He was drafted in the fourth round in the 1996 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He spent three seasons as a backup at fullback before getting the starting nod at the start of the 1999 season, when he posted career highs and ended up representing the NFC in the Pro Bowl. Davis led the NFC in yards rushing with 1,405, and led the league in yards per carry (4.8). He was also the league’s leading non-kicking scorer, posting 108 points on 17 touchdowns and one 2-point conversion. He continued to post high numbers the following season en route to his second straight Pro Bowl selection. In 2001, Davis rushed for 1,432 yards, breaking the record he set in 1999 for most rushing yards in a season by a Redskin. He signed with the Carolina Panthers for the start of the 2003 season, and was a catalyst in leading the team to Super Bowl XXXVIII. Davis rushed for a career-high 1,444 rushing yards and eight touchdowns, and also finished in the top three for the NFL MVP voting that year.
Dawkins played in the NFL for 16 seasons after a successful career at Clemson where he was a three-year starter at free safety (1993-95). He finished Clemson with 247 tackles and 11 interceptions, and in 1995 was a second-team All-American by the Associated Press and the Sporting News. He was first-team All-ACC in 1995 and second-team in 1993 and 1994. Dawkins finished eighth in the nation in interceptions in his second season, having set a Clemson record for most interceptions in a quarter against Duke with three in 1995, and was named Sports Illustrated’ s national defensive player of the week. He was a second-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1996, an NFL All-Rookie selection, chosen All-Pro six times and was a nine-time All-Pro Bowl selection. Dawkins was named to Clemson’s Centennial Team in 1996 and had his No. 20 jersey retired by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012. Having been named to the Philadelphia Eagles 75th Anniversary Team, he had 1,131 career tackles and 37 career interceptions in the NFL.
A USC lineman (1954-56), a third-team All-American as a senior, DeLuca played in the College All-Star Game and Senior Bowl. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native played in the Canadian Football League for three seasons and for the American Football League’s San Diego Chargers for three years before becoming captain and lead blocker for Joe Namath and the New York Jets for four years. He later became a broadcaster for CBS Sports.
Dixon was a Laurens native and all-purpose running back, defensive end and punter for USC (1956-58). In 1957, he returned the opening kickoff in two consecutive games – 98 yards against Texas and 89 yards against Furman. He played and coached with the Quantico Marines team and captured the Armed Services Outstanding Athlete Award after earning three medals for his service in Vietnam. He later served as USC’s director of athletics.
The Citadel star finished his career as all-time leading rushing quarterback in Division I-AA (now Football Championship Subdivision). He guided the Bulldogs to a Southern Conference championship and a tie for No. 1 in the final I-AA poll in 1992. During his career, the two-time team captain engineered upsets over Navy, USC, Arkansas and Army (twice).
A native of Lumberton, N.C., Edwards starred as a free safety for USC. Selected in the second round of the 1988 NFL Draft, he started for the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXVI against the Buffalo Bills and had two interceptions while finishing as runner-up for Most Valuable Player Award honors. After his nine-year NFL playing career where he also played for the Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings while recording 18 interceptions and two touchdowns, Edwards served his alma mater as an assistant athletics director and later senior associate athletics director (1999-06). Following his tenure at USC, Edwards entered the private sector, then returned to athletics on May 17, 2009, when he was named the director of athletics at Newberry College. He has since served as athletics director at Jacksonville University and George Mason University.
Todd Ellis completed his career at the University of South Carolina as the all-time leading passer and winningest quarterback in Gamecock history. He rewrote the school’s passing records where he established more than 20 school passing marks while throwing for 9,953 yards. He ranks second in wins by a starting quarterback with 24 and is one of only two quarterbacks in school history to lead the team in passing yards in four-consecutive seasons. A three-time team MVP, he led USC to the 1987 Gator Bowl and 1988 Liberty Bowl.
The Greensboro, NC native quarterbacked the 1987 squad that finished No. 15 in the final national polls. He was selected by the National Football League’s Denver Broncos in the 1990 Draft and played for the Sacramento Surge of the World League of American Football. A graduate of the USC School of Law, Ellis, in 2022, worked his 31st season with USC’s radio network and 20th as the play-by-play voice of Gamecocks Football. He remains active in many aspects of his community and with the University of South Carolina.
The star quarterback at Spartanburg High, Steve Fuller played at Clemson (1975-78) and enjoyed an eight-year NFL career with the Kansas City Chiefs (1979-82), Los Angeles Rams (1983) and Chicago Bears (1984-86). He was a member of the Bears’ 1985 Super Bowl-winning team and participated in the famed “Super Bowl Shuffle” video.
One Clemson record Fuller still holds is most selections as ACC Most Valuable Player. He won the award in 1977 and ‘78 when he took a program that had not been to a bowl game or ranked in the top 20 in 18 years to consecutive bowl games and consecutive top-20 rankings, including a then program best No. 6 final spot in 1978.
A two-time All-Southern Conference (1942-43) lineman at USC, Fusci played in the College Pro All-Star Game and became a two-way All-Pro in the All-American Football Conference in 1948. The native New Yorker later reigned as a four-time South Carolina Handball Doubles champion and served for 22 years as a high school and college sports official. “Dynamite Don,” chosen for the all-time first-half century Gamecock team during USC’s centennial celebration in 1995, also served as a SCAHOF past president and a longtime board member.
Born in Chester and raised in Anderson, Gage was an All-American all-purpose back for Clemson (1945-48), led the Tigers’ unbeaten 1948 team and was named MVP of the 1949 Gator Bowl. He later played quarterback, tailback and defensive back for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers as the sixth overall pick in the 1949 draft.
A football and track star at USC (1959-62), Gambrell twice made the All-ACC (1961-62) list. In football, he compiled 2,300 all-purpose yards over three seasons, and in track, he recorded a 23-foot-plus broad jump. The Athens, Ga., native later played 12 seasons as an NFL wide receiver for the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Lions.
Clemson’s placekicker during the 1989 and 1990 seasons, Chris Gardocki earned second-team All-America honors as a junior and third-team recognition as a sophomore.
He received honorable mention All-America citations for punting by UPI as a freshman, sophomore and junior. During his junior year, he was fourth in punting and tied for fourth in placekicking in the nation. Consequently, he became the second player in NCAA history to finish in the top 10 in both categories in the same season and was first to do it twice. Gardocki tied the ACC record for the longest field goal with a 57-yarder against Appalachian State in 1990 and had a pair of four-field-goal games in the same year.
He made 72 consecutive PATs to set a Tiger record and never missed one throughout his career. Gardocki had 20 multiple field-goal games in his career, and tied Obed Ariri’s career field goal record with 63. Named to Clemson’s Centennial Team in 1996, Gardocki was listed as Clemson’s 19th best gridder of all-time by a panel of historians in 1999. A third-round draft pick of the Bears in 1991, he left Clemson after his junior year and punted for Chicago (1991-94), Indianapolis (1995-98), Cleveland (1999-03) and Pittsburgh (2004-06).
As a member of the Colts, he was an All-Pro selection in 1996 and Gardocki also won a Super Bowl title as the punter for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005 (Super Bowl XL). He played 16 seasons in the NFL, more than any other former Tiger.
A three-sport standout at Clemson and later for the Armed Forces Team in 1955-56, the 6-foot, 4-inch, 230-pound all-ACC end played in the Blue-Gray Game. He was a Clemson team captain.
The Greenwood-born Gilliam, a South Carolina State standout receiver of the 1960s, later led the NFL in average yards per catch in 1970 and 1971. For his 11-year NFL career playing for five teams, Gilliam caught 382 passes for 7,056 yards (18.5 average) and 48 touchdowns, and averaged 25.5 yards on kickoff returns. He made All-Pro once, played in the Pro Bowl four times and was named to the “50 Greatest Vikings” list.
A three-sport star at Lancaster’s Sims High in the late 1940s and at Allen University in the early 1950s, Gilliam later complied a 235-23 overall high school coaching record at Sims High and Barr Street High (1953-64) and a 91-18-1 mark at Maryland State University.
Goodman was an all-state wide receiver and defensive back at Greenville’s Eastside High, where he was rated the No. 20 prospect by Super Prep during his senior season and was rated the No. 10 receiver in the Atlantic Coast region by Prep Star. Goodman also excelled in track, setting personal bests of 10.5 seconds in the 100-meters and 22.4 in the 200-meters and became a four-year football letterman (1998-2001) at USC, where he started his final two seasons. During his collegiate career, Goodman totaled 86 tackles, four interceptions and 20 pass break-ups. In 2000, he registered 35 tackles (28 solo), returned an interception 71 yards and ranked second on the team with 11 pass deflections. In 2001, Goodman started 11 games, including the Outback Bowl. He was named All- SEC his senior season and played professionally for the Detroit Lions (2002-05), Miami Dolphins (2006-08) and Denver Broncos (2009-11).
SAM "HERC" GOODMAN*
Goodwin was among the top athletes at South Carolina State University during his playing days from 1961-64. Goodwin, a Columbia native who played both football and basketball, was a defensive lineman and offensive guard who earned accolades for outstanding play. He was an All-SIAC performer for three seasons (1961, 1962 and 1964), was named S.C. State’s most valuable lineman three seasons, team MVP four seasons, and in 1964, was also named the school’s Best All-Round Athlete, earning The Pittsburgh Courier’s All-America honors. S.C. State was 22-14 during his playing days, including an 8-2 mark in 1963 and 7-2 in 1964. Goodwin was named to the S.C. State’s Centennial (1907-2007) Football Team. After his playing days at S.C. State, Goodwin had a coaching career that began in the high school ranks and included stops at three colleges, including S.C. State and Wichita State, both under Willie Jeffries, and at USC under Richard Bell.
The Conway native and Clemson star (1965-67) became the Tigers’ first 1,000-yard rusher and earned the ACC Player of the Year honors in 1966.
The football and baseball standout (1973-76) ranks among the best two-sport athletes in USC history. A quarterback proficient in passing and running as he recorded more than 5,000 yards of total offense, Grantz ranks high in every school passing category and earned second-team All-American honors in 1975. In baseball, he set a Gamecock fielding record as a middle infielder and played in the finals of the 1975 College World Series.
A two-time All-SEC star at USC (1986-89), the Goose Creek product led the Gamecocks in rushing three times, was a member of the All-South Independent team in 1987 and 1989 and his 33 career touchdowns ties him with George Rogers for second in school history. Green enjoyed an eight-year NFL career, making the 1990 Pro Bowl when he rushed for 1,170 yards for the Cincinnati Bengals. After playing for the St. Louis Rams, he finished his career with the Atlanta Falcons after Super Bowl XXXIII.
The Aiken native became a two-time Duke University All-America and All-ACC first team lineman (1961-62), both times winning the Jacobs Blocking Trophy while leading the Blue Devils to three ACC titles. All three of Duke’s teams that Gregory was a part of were ranked in the final polls (1960 - 10th AP; 11th UPI; 1961 - 20th AP; 1962 - 14th UPI).
A beloved Palmetto State athlete who starred in football for two years at Furman University (1917-18) and two years at USC (1920-21), he later served a coach/director of athletics at The Citadel. Gressette also officiated major college football games for 22 years, including many bowl games and the College All-Star Game. The St. Matthews native is a member of all three colleges’ halls of fame, as well as the state’s golf hall of fame.
The St. Matthews native starred at Furman University (1913-18). In 1916, he ran for 318 yards against Erskine College to set a single-game school record that still stands. He also rushed that season for 217 yards against Presbyterian College and 173 against Georgia Tech, with a season total of 865 yards. He held five other records into the 1980s.
An All-ACC and All-American from Point Pleasant, N.J., Harris was a versatile defensive back, running back and return specialist at USC (1969-71). He made the long return his trademark, nine times making runbacks of 50 yards or more. He became a seven-time Canadian Football League All-Star with the Montreal Alouettes and is enshrined in the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame. In November, 2006, Harris was voted one of the CFL’s Top 50 players (No. 33) of the league’s modern era.
The USC football star (1956-58) earned ACC Player of the Year and third-team All-American in 1958 and later became a versatile NFL standout. Hawkins, from Welch, W.Va., was drafted by the Green Bay Packers but played for the Baltimore Colts (1959-65, and again in 1967) and for the inaugural Atlanta Falcons (1966), where he enjoyed his best season with 44 receptions. Nicknamed “Captain Who” when he became the NFL’s first special teams captain with the Colts, he helped Baltimore to championship games in 1965 and 1966. He later was a national broadcaster for NFL games and authored several books.
Fred Hoover, who was hired by legendary coach Frank Howard, served as trainer of the Clemson University football team for 40 years (1959-98) and began working the sidelines seven years prior to the existence of Howard’s Rock.
Hoover worked 446 consecutive football games and he was estimated to have supervised 4,500 Clemson football practices. He worked with seven head coaches, 11 ACC championship teams, 16 bowl teams, 38 All-Americans, 16 NFL All-Pro players and first round picks and 110 future NFL players. He ran down the hill 207 times, falling just once.
Hoover has held just about every administrative post with the National Athletic Trainers Association, including Chairman of the Board. In 1981, he was enshrined in the Citizens Savings-Helms Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame for his work in his chosen field. In 1982, Hoover was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame.
In 1983, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Service to Sports Medicine Award as presented by the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine. In 1987, this organization awarded him the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame Distinguished Service to Sports Award.
He was made an honorary member of the Clemson Alumni Physicians Society in 1990. In 1994, the South Carolina Trainers Association created the Fred Hoover Award for excellence in athletic training.
The North Charleston native and Clemson football and track star (1948-50) displayed a rare blend of speed and power in track and field while competing in the 100- and 220-yard dashes, discus and shot put. The All-State and All-Southern Conference star played 11 years as a linebacker in both the NFL and AFL, three times making All-NFL second team. He set a league record of 11 interceptions in 1954.
An All-State star in three sports at North Charleston High, he ranks as one of the greatest linemen at Clemson (1954-56). He made first-team All-Canadian Football League in 1959 and 1960 with Montreal, and then earned All-American Football League while helping lead the San Diego Chargers to a championship. The burly offensive lineman served as the Chargers’ team captain in 1962 and 1963. Hudson worked tirelessly as a board member of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.
The star Clemson football tackle (1953-55) was drafted by the NFL’s Baltimore Colts in the fourth round (No. 43 overall), but eventually played in the Canadian Football League.
A Columbia native, Jackson starred at Lower Richland High and became a two-time All-American at Duke University. The 1971 ACC Player of the Year, a member of the ACC Silver Anniversary team and the all-time Duke team, Jackson played nine years in the NFL (intercepting nine passes) with the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions.
A Bishopville native and star quarterback-defensive back at The Citadel (1930-32), Jennings twice earned All-State and All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association accolades.
The Summerville All-State star helped Furman University win four Southern Conference titles while earning league player of the year honors three times and being named third-team All-America as a senior in 1984. He played in the Blue-Gray and Senior Bowls before moving to an NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He returned a 93-yard kickoff for a Bengals touchdown in Super Bowl XXIII.
A Charleston native, Jervey waited his turn to play at The Citadel after backing up All-America Everette Sands for three seasons, but when his time came, he had six 100-yard rushing games in 1994 and his 224 yards against VMI is the fourth-best single-game effort in school history. His 96-yard run on the opening play in the 1994 Oyster Bowl against VMI in Norfolk, Va., remains the longest running play in school history. In 1994, he gained 1,171 yards fifth in school history for a single season. Jervey averaged 7.7 yards per carry that season – tops in school history – and had 12 touchdowns. He ranked third in the Southern Conference in rushing and sixth in scoring in 1994 and was named second team All-Conference by both the coaches and media. Jervey played professionally for nine years with the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons, and is the first Citadel player ever to win a Super Bowl ring (1996). He earned Pro Bowl honors in 1997.
A Clemson athlete (1927-30), Jones played basketball and football, and served as an assistant football coach. The native of Starr earned the nickname “the General” after a long military stint. He also coached the Clemson boxing team for 12 years, winning two Southern Conference titles.
DAVID "DEACON" JONES
A South Carolina State star defensive end, Jones embarked on an 11-year NFL career as the leader of the Los Angeles Rams’ “Fearsome Foursome,” which earned him induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1968-69) from Eatonville, Fla., made eight Pro Bowl appearances. He introduced the head-slap defensive technique, coined the term “sack,” and made that big defensive play his trademark with 180.5 career sacks, including 26 in 1967 and 24 in 1968.
Jordan will always be remembered as the quarterback that led Clemson to the 1981 National Championship and Atlantic Coast Conference crown. That season, he led the team to a perfect 12-0 record as he was 107-of-196 in passing for 1,630 yards. Against Maryland in 1981, he was 20-of-29 in passing for 270 yards and also rushed for 42 giving him a 300-yard total offense day. He was Clemson’s offensive MVP in the 22-15 victory over Nebraska that clinched the National Championship for the Tigers. Jordan was 11-of-22 passing for 134 yards and a touchdown and also had 46 yards rushing on 16 carries in that memorable Orange Bowl. He played professionally in the Canadian Football League for two seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The CBS 1982 Defensive Player of the Year and two-time All-American defensive back at Clemson – the only unanimous selection in school history – Kinard helped the Tigers win a national championship in 1981. The former Sumter High star became a standout NFL performer (1982-90), winning the 1986 Super Bowl with the New York Giants. USA Today named him to its 1980s All-Decade team and Sports Illustrated named him to its All-Century team. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
An All-Southern Conference and All-American football standout at Furman University (1934-36), King also excelled in track. The Ranger, Tex., native coached the Paladins’ football team for 15 years (1958-72) and finished with a 60-88-4 record.
Hailing from Lamar, Kirkland garnered first-team All-American linebacker honors at Clemson as he helped lead the Tigers to ranking as the No. 1-ranked defense in 1990 and 1991. The Mazda Gator Bowl MVP became a two-time All-Pro with the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers in 1996 and 1997, and played in Super Bowl XXX. He was named to Clemson’s All-Centennial team in 1996.
A power runner for USC (1974-76), Long led the Gamecocks in rushing in 1975 with 1,133 yards. The Clinton High star enjoyed a solid NFL career with the New York Jets (1977-81) and then three years in the United States Football League (USFL) with the Chicago Blitz (1983) and the Arizona Wranglers (1984-85).
The Southern Conference Player of the Year as a receiver, defensive end and punter at The Citadel in 1957 and a third-team All-American in 1959, Maguire also holds the school record with an 83-yard punt. The Youngstown, Ohio, native punted for 11 years in the AFL with the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills before becoming a broadcaster for NBC and ESPN.
An outstanding running back at Clemson (1957-59), the Rocky Mount, N.C., native enjoyed an AFL All-Star career with the New York Titans and Jets. Mathis earned All-Pro recognition once and Pro Bowl honors three times. The Jets named Mathis team MVP in 1962, and he helped the Jets win Super Bowl III, a victory that helped hasten the AFL-NFL merger.
The Clemson star (1937-39) was recognized as the Tigers’ all-time greatest athlete, made All-America in football and basketball, and had both jerseys retired. In 1939, the Associated Press named him “America’s most versatile athlete.” He played one season of pro football before an off-season automobile accident ended his career. The Great Falls native also starred in five track events. The College Football Hall of Fame inducted him in 1959. McFadden is a charter member of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.
A prominent defensive tackle on Clemson’s top-ranked defense in 1990 when they allowed only 216.9 yards per game and then held opponents’ rushing to a miniscule average of 53.4 yards per contest in 1991, McGlockton, who played for the Tigers from 1989-91, was a first-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders. He spent 12 years in the NFL, and stood out on the defensive line for the Raiders (1992-97), Kansas City Chiefs (1998-2000) and Denver Broncos (2001-02). He earned All-Pro honors three times (1994, 1995 and 1996) and was selected for the Pro Bowl four times (1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997). The 1991 All-Atlantic Coast Conference pick recorded 10 tackles for loss in 1989 and also recorded seven sacks.
LYVONIA "STUMP" MITCHELL
A star running back at The Citadel, Mitchell averaged 149.7 yards and ranked No. 3 in the nation in 1980 with a single-season, school-record 1,647 yards and became the Bulldogs’ career rushing leader with 4,062 yards. The 1980 Southern Conference Player of the Year from St. Mary’s, Ga., became a standout NFL rusher-return man and then a college coach and a longtime NFL assistant coach.
The speedy wide-receiver starred at Easley High and played collegiately at the University of Tennessee where he holds the record for most all-purpose yards (4,642). He enjoyed a terrific NFL with the New England Patriots (1977-89), where he amassed more than 10,000 yards in receptions and played the 1990 season with the Indianapolis Colts. He played four times in the Pro Bowl, was honored twice with All-Pro status and finished his career by averaging 19.2 yards per catch.
Clemson Coach Frank Howard called Moore, the team captain of the 1949 Clemson football team, “the greatest center I ever coached.” The Tigers’ football-baseball standout of the late 1940s snapped the ball for the winning field goal in the 1949 Gator Bowl that gave the Tigers a 24-23 victory over Missouri. He anchored the line in the single-wing offense that spearheaded an undefeated season in 1948 and a No. 11 ranking by the Associated Press. Moore earned honorable mention All-America honors in 1949 as well as playing in the Blue-Gray and All-Star Senior Bowl post-season games. In baseball, Moore helped the Tigers to their first NCAA tournament, on a club that was knocked out of the playoffs by a George Bush-led Yale team. Moore led his team in triples in 1948 and 1949, and in total bases in 1948. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in baseball and the New York Giants in football, and opted for baseball. After a stint in the U.S. Army, Moore returned to play in the Boston Red Sox minor league system before becoming a teacher-education administrator and coach in his native Lake City.
The USC standout tackle (1960-62) twice made All-ACC and twice won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy. Played in the Blue-Gray All-Star Game after his senior season (1962). The Beaufort native had a promising professional career cut short by a leg injury.
Olszewski, from Baltimore, Md., was a first-team consensus All-American guard at Clemson in 1967 and won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy. He played professionally with the Las Vegas Cowboys (1968), Alabama Hawks (1968) and the Montreal Alouettes (1969-70).
A Seneca native and All-SEC wide receiver at the University of Georgia, Orr led the league in receiving in 1955 and 1957. He earned the NFL Rookie of the Year honor in 1958, twice landed Pro Bowl laurels, and made All-NFL in 1959. He caught 400 passes for 66 touchdowns and 7,920 yards (19.8 yards per catch) in his 13-year NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Colts. He played in two Super Bowls with the Colts and helped the team win the title in 1970.
MICHAEL DEAN PERRY
Michael Dean Perry is a former NFL defensive lineman and standout at Clemson. He is the younger brother of William Perry. He learned to play football from his older brothers. He attended South Aiken High School where he anchored the offensive and defensive line. He played football at Clemson University and set the school record of 28 sacks (tied by Gaines Adams in 2006 and then broken by Vic Beasley in 2014). He was later drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the second round of the 1988 NFL Draft. He played in the Pro Bowl six times and played for the Browns, the Denver Broncos, and the Kansas City Chiefs over his 10-year career.
WILLIAM "REFRIGERATOR" PERRY
William Perry is a former NFL defensive lineman who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 10 seasons, primarily with the Chicago Bears. Nicknamed "The Refrigerator" because of his imposing size, he played college football at Clemson and was selected by the Bears in the first round of the 1985 NFL Draft. Perry gained popularity during his rookie season as a member of the Bears team that won Super Bowl XX. During the season, Perry occasionally played fullback in goal line situations and set the then-record for the heaviest player to score a touchdown at 335 lb. He is the older brother of Michael Dean Perry.
The great athlete and coach at Erskine College starred in baseball and as a single-wing tailback in football (1917-21). He turned down a professional football contract because he did not want to play on Sundays. A charter member of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, Phillips, in 1950, was named best athlete of the first half of the 20th Century in South Carolina by sportswriters. So great was Phillips’ fame that, when he died in 1965, The State newspaper carried his obituary on the front page.
The Wando native dominated as a South Carolina State University senior with 88 tackles, 15 sacks (two shy of Pro Football Hall of Fame member Harry Carson’s school record) and 24 tackles for loss to become a first-round draft pick of the NFL’s Detroit Lions. The 6-foot-3, 266-pound defensive end led the Lions in sacks eight times and played in the Pro Bowl three times. He founded the Detroit Football Classic to benefit college scholarships.
The Furman University football and baseball great later played professionally as a triple-threat back. The Lake View native made All-State in 1940, 1941 and 1942. In 1942, he also made All-Southern Conference, earned MVP honors in the Carolina Bowl, and played in the Blue-Gray Game. After spending 1943 in military service, he played three years for the New York Yankees football team as a two-way starter in 1948 and did the same for the Chicago Rockets in 1949. He is a member of Furman’s all-time team and served as the longtime chief of police in Mullins.
As a baseball and football standout at Newberry College (1952-56), Ray led the Indians in rushing and receiving, and made the All-Little Four first team. He led the state of South Carolina in rushing in 1953. As a second baseman, he paced Newberry in stolen bases twice. The Camden native became a college football referee for 31 years, calling several major bowls.
The former USC quarterback (1962-64) from Americus, Ga., helped the Dallas Cowboys win the 1971 Super Bowl as a running back and then became an outstanding NFL head coach with a 201-174-2 record, ranking eighth among all-time NFL coaching wins. At USC, he played like a coach on the field and at Dallas, he served as a player-coach during the final three seasons of his eight-year Cowboys career. He took the Denver Broncos to the AFC title and the Super Bowl three times (1986, 1987, 1989) and Atlanta Falcons once (1998).
JAMES "LEE" RHAME
Furman University halfback from 1917-21, Rhame led the 1920 team that outscored foes 286-16 and compiled a 9-1 record. The Holly Hill native played every minute of every game at Furman and earned All-State recognition three times. He starred in college and semi-professional baseball before becoming Florence High’s coach, where his basketball and baseball teams won state titles, and he coached the South Carolina team to a Shrine Bowl victory in football.
Sidney Rice, a Gaffney native, was a first-team All-SEC wide receiver at the University of South Carolina (2005-06). Rice, who earned freshman All-America honors, caught 142 passes and hauled in 23 touchdown passes for his career, which includes a school-record five touchdowns against Florida Atlantic on Sept. 23, 2006. He totaled 2,233 career receiving yards, an average of 15.7 yards per reception.
Rice was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2nd round (44th overall pick) in the 2007 NFL draft. He spent his pro career with the Minnesota Vikings (2007-10) and the Seattle Seahawks (2011-13) and was a member of the Seahawks’ Super Bowl XLVIII championship team. Rice earned Pro Bowl honors in 2009. Against the Dallas Cowboys in January of 2020, he tied the record for most touchdown receptions (3) in a playoff game. For his NFL career, he caught 243 passes for 3,592 yards and 30 touchdowns.
A 2004 graduate of Gaffney High, he earned All-State honors in both football and basketball. He helped lead the Indians to back-to-back state championships on the hardwood and added another state title on the gridiron. He ended his prep football career with 167 receptions for 3,044 yards and 31 touchdowns. He earned the 2002-2003 Class 4A Basketball Player of the Year Award after guiding Gaffney to the state championship. That season, he averaged 18 points and seven rebounds per game, as the Indians finished with an undefeated 28-0 record.
A two-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and Little All-American at Wofford College, Richardson led all South Carolina colleges in scoring three times, averaging 19 yards per catch. Though only a 13th-round pick by the Baltimore Colts in 1958, he finished third in the NFL balloting for rookie of the year. In his second season, the Spring Hope, N.C., native caught eight passes for 90 yards and a touchdown in the NFL Championship Game. He used the $4,864 in playoff money to buy a hamburger restaurant with former Wofford teammate Charlie Bradshaw, and the two eventually built it into the Hardee’s national franchise. After selling it, Richardson used the money to become the first former NFL player to own an NFL team when the founded the Carolina Panthers in 1993.
The bruising USC tailback (1977-80) was a consensus All-American and led the nation in rushing with 1,781 yards to win the 1980 Heisman Trophy and Gator Bowl MVP. As a rookie, he led the NFL in rushing and rushed for more than 1,000 yards in four of his seven professional seasons playing for the New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins. The 1981 NFL rushing leader won a Super Bowl XXII ring with the Redskins, was twice named All-Pro and three times played in the Pro Bowl. The Duluth, Ga., native is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
An aptly-named first-team consensus All-American linebacker at The Citadel in 1976 and Southern Conference and South Carolina Player of the Year in 1975 and 1976, Ruff was the first Citadel athlete to have his jersey retired. He was named First-Team Associated Press All-American as a senior, the school’s first to make the first team. After playing in the Hula and Japan bowls, Ruff was drafted in the 11th round by the Baltimore Colts.
The USC punter (1976-79) spent 11 years (1978-89) in the NFL, punting in two Super Bowls, with the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles. Runager, a former Orangeburg star, punted for a 40.2-yard professional average and was named to the Eagles’ All-Decade team of the 1980s. He was also named to USC’s all-time modern-era team.
The stellar USC defensive back from Rock Hill (1975-78) earned All-America status as a senior and was selected in the first round (25th pick overall) by the New England Patriots, becoming the first Gamecock to be drafted in the inaugural round. He played for seven years in the NFL for the Patriots (1979-84) and Seattle Seahawks (1985).
DAVID MARSHALL BRADBURY "JUNE" SCOTT
In the years 1935-37, the native of Lake View excelled in football and baseball at Furman University, twice making All-Southern Conference in football. The triple-threat quarterback earned the nickname “The Hummingbird” for his elusive quickness
The standout tight end from Newberry High starred at USC from 1977-80. The first-round draft pick by Kansas City in 1981, Scott played six years for the Chiefs and three more with the New England Patriots and had a career total of 89 catches for 766 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was named to USC’s all-time team.
BOB "RED" SHARPE
Clemson’s center and linebacker (1938-40) was named to the All-Southern Conference team in 1940. The Abbeville native led the Tigers to the Cotton Bowl that year, in which Coach Jess Neely’s Clemson squad defeated Coach Frank Leahy’s Boston College Eagles, 6-3.
USC’s record-setting wide receiver from Glennville, Ga., twice earned All-America citations (1986 and 1987). He was named All-Pro five times while playing for the Green Bay Packers from 1988-94 before retiring due to injuries. He twice led the NFL in receptions, setting records both times and becoming the first player to make 500 catches prior to his seventh season.
The North Charleston native and former Bonds-Wilson High standout became a two-time All-American offensive lineman at Maryland-Eastern Shore University, and then starred for 13 years with the Oakland Raiders (1968-1982), winning two Super Bowls. Shell made All-Pro four times (1973, 1974, 1976, 1977), and the Pro Bowl eight times. When he became the Raiders’ head coach in 1989, Shell became the NFL’s first African-American head coach. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Whitmire native starred at South Carolina State (1970-1973) where he became an All-American before a standout 11-year NFL career as a three-time All-Pro, five-time Pro Bowler, and four-time Super Bowl champion during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ dynasty years. He retired as the NFL’s all-time strong safety interceptions leader with 51. The two-time All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference star is a member of the Black College 100-year Anniversary squad, the National College Football Foundation Hall of Fame, Steelers’ all-time team, and NFL Silver Anniversary Super Bowl Team. He was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the 2020 class.
A stellar two-way back at Furman University (1936-40), Shetley garnered All-South and Liberty magazine All-America honors. The Wolf Creek, Tenn., native played four years of professional football.
Hailing from Augusta, Ga., Small earned the Southern Conference Player of the Year and first-team All-America honors as a linebacker at The Citadel in 1969. He also made all-conference in 1967 and 1968 before being named to the Sporting News’ All-American team and the UPI Al-America third team. He played in the 1969 East-West Shrine Bowl and the 1970 College All-Star Game and the Senior Bowl. He then played five years in the NFL, three for the Atlanta Falcons (as a first-round draft pick) and two seasons for the Detroit Lions.
The elusive 5-foot-11, 184-pound Sumter native ranks as one of, if not the best, high school football star in state’s history. As a quarterback, he ran for more than 500 yards combined in two postseason high school all-star games. He played at Tampa University and for 11 years as an NFL receiver-returner with the Miami Dolphins (1975-77) and the San Francisco 49ers (1978-85), playing in the 1980 Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl. He caught a career total of 371 passes for 5,846 yards and 48 touchdowns, and rushed for 515 yards.
The USC center (1940-42) captained the Gamecocks and became a two-time All-Southern Conference member (1941 and 1942), and second-team All-American (1942). He played two years of professional football with the New York Yankees of the AAFC (1946-48), and served in the U.S. Navy in World War II. He became the publisher of his hometown newspaper, The Gaffney Ledger, and later served on the USC Board of Trustees.
JAMES HARREL "SPEEDY" SPEER
The three-sport athlete at Furman University (1916-1921) starred at halfback on the 1920 team that outscored opponents 286-16 and went 9-1. The Winston-Salem, N.C., native earned All-State honors four times and All-Southern Conference once. He served in World War I in 1918, and later coached at Greenville High from 1928-49.
A two-time first-team all-ACC running back, C.J. Spiller played at Clemson University and was recognized as a unanimous All-American in 2009 after being named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year. For his career, Spiller rushed for 3,547 yards and 51 touchdowns (32 rushing, 11 receiving, 8 special teams). Drafted by the Buffalo Bills with the ninth overall pick in the 2010 draft, he also played for the New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, and earned a spot on the 2012 Pro Bowl while playing for the Bills.
For his professional career, Spiller rushed for 3,451 yards and 12 touchdowns, and collected 1,484 yards receiving with 9 scores. He continues to hold the ACC record for career all-purpose running yards with 7,588, the fourth-highest total in NCAA history, which led to his jersey number 28 being retired in 2010. As a member of Clemson’s track team, he earned 2008 All-America accolades for the 60m indoors and in 2009, collected All-America honors for being part of the 4x100m relay team. He also was named All-ACC twice for his indoor and outdoor sprints. Spiller was enshrined the Clemson’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2021.
A graduate of Airport High in West Columbia, Staley, as a Gamecock senior in 1996, was ranked 13th in the nation in rushing with 1,116 rushing yards. In his South Carolina career, he had 345 rushes for 1,582 yards (4.58 per average) and also caught 59 passes for 489 yards and two touchdowns. Staley was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1997 NFL Draft and played for the Eagles through the 2003 season. He developed into the team’s perennial leading receiver through the Eagles’ screen-heavy West Coast offense, and later signed with Pittsburgh in 2004, becoming their top running back. In 2005, the Steelers won Super Bowl XL, and he officially retired as a Philadelphia Eagle during the Eagles-Giants game on December 9, 2007.
Born in Cayce and a graduate of Airport High, Stuckey starred at Clemson from 1976-79. The All-American defensive lineman played seven years in the NFL, winning Super Bowl titles with the San Francisco 49ers in 1982 and 1985.
The four-sport standout at Lamar High played at USC from 1968-70 and, despite standing just 5-foot-9, became one of the all-time great quarterbacks, leading USC to an ACC championship in 1969, defeating Clemson three years in a row, and earning Blue-Gray Game MVP honors. He has since served as the longtime Gamecock radio color analyst. Suggs may also be famous for something fans won't find in any of the record books as he explains he first pitched the idea for the iconic "2001" entrance for the Gamecocks after seeing Elvis Presley enter the stage to theme music at a concert in the Carolina Coliseum in the 1970s. Suggs served as president of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Greenville-born Maryland State University standout earned NAIA All-America honors and became a two-time All-Pro and three-time Pro-Bowl star in a 13-year NFL career with the Denver Broncos (1969-81). He played in Super Bowl XII and is a member of the Broncos’ Ring of Honor. Upon retirement he was third on the Broncos all-time list of games started with 179 and 10th in games played (179). He holds the club record for interception return yards with 784.
The Spartanburg native starred at Spartanburg High and the University of Georgia as a lineman and blocking back in the 1930s’ one-platoon system, and in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers (1938-44). He helped the Packers win two NFL Championships and is a member of Green Bay’s Hall of Fame.
A native of Calhoun Falls, Tucker was a member of three National Championship teams (1944, 1945 and 1946) and was undefeated at the U.S. Military Academy (West Point), leading his fellow cadets to an unparalleled 27-0-1 record during his prolific career. He was one-fourth of the 1946 Army backfield, coached by West Point legend Earl “Red” Blaik, and considered by many as the greatest backfield of all time – Tucker, Tom McWilliams and Heisman Trophy winners “Doc” Blanchard and Glenn Davis. The 1946 All-American led Army to three Lambert Trophies, passing for 1,127 yards and 10 touchdowns in his three-year campaign while trouncing perennial powerhouses Michigan, Oklahoma and Notre Dame. After graduation and flying training, Tucker returned to West Point as an assistant backfield coach. He later served in numerous capacities for both the Army and Air Force, including Deputy Chief of Operations for the 5th Air Force in Japan from 1968-1970 and Commanding Officer of the 16th Special Operations Squadron in Thailand in 1970. He was enshrined in College Football Hall of Fame.
An All-American wide receiver for Clemson’s 1981 national championship team, Tuttle was named to Clemson’s All-Centennial team in 1996. He is the first Clemson athlete to make the cover of Sports Illustrated, in a photograph depicting his touchdown catch. The Lexington, N.C., star caught 150 passes for 2,534 yards. As a professional, he played for the Buffalo Bills (1982-83), Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1984), and the Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1986-91), where he was twice a Grey Cup Champion (1988, 1990).
The two-time All-Southern Conference running back (1950, 1951) rushed for 2,878 yards from 1949-51 and played in the Senior and Blue-Gray Bowls. “Wadiak the Cadillac” became USC’s first sports superstar, and the first Gamecock athlete to have his jersey retired. Called by his coach, Rex Enright, “the greatest player I ever coached,” the charismatic Wadiak from Chicago, Ill., died in a 1952 auto accident near Aiken. He is a charter member of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Beaufort product was a two-time NCAA champion at UCLA and represented the United States in the 1970 FIBA World Championship. A 6-foot-3 guard from Robert Smalls High in Beaufort who transferred to and graduated from Booker T. Washington High in Columbia and played on the state championship team of 1962, Washington played for coach John Wooden at UCLA from 1963-66, where he was a key member of Wooden’s first two NCAA championship teams in 1964 and 1965. Washington was particularly effective in his two championship appearances, netting 26 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in the finals of the 1964 NCAA tournament and scoring 17 in the 1965 championship and earning a spot on the All-Final Four team. In 1970, Washington was a member of the United States team that played in the 1970 FIBA Championship in Yugoslavia, and finished fifth. In 1974, Washington was named the first intercollegiate head coach in UCLA women’s basketball history, and coached one season, leading the Bruins to an 18-4 record behind star Ann Meyers.
The Georgia-born Presbyterian College quarterback led the Blue Hose to the 1960 Tangerine Bowl where he earned MVP honors. He then defied small-college odds to become an NFL quarterback and defensive back with the San Francisco 49ers from 1960-63 before turning to coaching. After serving as an assistant at his alma mater and then Stanford University, Waters became head coach at Western Carolina (1969-88), earning the NAIA Coach of the Year honor in 1996. His 1983 Catamounts lost in the NCAA Division I-AA title game that was held in Charleston. He compiled a 111-78-6 record in 18 seasons at WCU before succumbing to Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The North Augusta High graduate and Clemson defensive back who earned All-ACC honors (1969), developed into a two-time All-Pro (1977-78), and three-time Pro Bowl (1976-78) star with the Dallas Cowboys (third-round pick), and helped them win Super Bowls in 1971 and 1977. He was named to the all-time Cowboys team.
The Anderson native and consensus All-America “roverback” at Michigan State in 1965 and 1966, Webster switched to linebacker and was named the AFL Rookie of the Year in 1967 with the Houston Oilers (he also played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots). A three-time recipient of All-AFL honors, Webster was named to the AFL All-Time team in 1970 by a panel of veteran football writers.
A football, basketball and baseball star at The Citadel (1913-16), Weeks captained the baseball and football teams. He started for four years in football, and three in basketball and baseball. As quarterback, Weeks was twice named to the All-State team.
The two-time All-ACC star at Clemson (1955 and 1956) also collected second-team All-America recognition in 1956. The Columbia native was a running back for the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes (1957-59) who earned all-star honors, and played for the New York Giants’ 1961 Eastern Division championship team.
JOHNNIE RICHARD "J.R." WILBURN
An All-ACC performer in football and track for USC in 1965, Wilburn became a standout NFL receiver with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1966-70), making 123 career catches for 1,834 yards and eight touchdowns. The Portsmouth, Va., high school star led the Gamecocks in receiving as a senior with 21 catches for 236 yards.
Williams completed his Clemson career (1985-88) as the winningest starting quarterback in ACC history with a 32-10-2 overall record. He established Clemson career records for passing yards (4,647), pass completions (333) and pass attempts (717) while setting career record for most starts regardless of position (44). Williams finished his Clemson career in second place in total offense with 5,510 career yards and was a standout in bowl games as he was 41-of-79 for 564 yards in four bowl games. He was named most valuable player of the 1986 Gator Bowl and the 1988 Citrus Bowl, and became the first player in Clemson history to be MVP of two bowl games. He was the Clemson signal-caller for 3,028 plays in his career and led the Tigers to four consecutive bowls and three consecutive victories: 1986 Gator Bowl vs. Stanford, the 1988 Citrus Bowl vs. Penn State and 1989 Citrus Bowl vs Oklahoma.
Woolford starred at Clemson from 1985-88 as a great cover cornerback, and no opposing wide receiver caught more than two passes in a game against him in 1988. The Tigers won the ACC title in each of his four seasons and compiled a 28-6-2 record. Experts picked him as the No. 12 player on the list of all-time stars in the school’s centennial. Woolford was a two-time All-American in 1987 and 1988. His senior season, he was a consensus first-team All-American and was a first-team All-ACC selection in 1987 and 1988. The Chicago Bears chose the 5-foot-9, 192-pounder in the first round of the 1989 NFL draft. In 1992, Woolford enjoyed one of his best years with seven interceptions and 27 passes defended, and in 1993, he made the Pro Bowl. For his nine-year career, the Baltimore, Md., native had 36 interceptions and 303 punt return yards, one for a touchdown.
The outstanding all-around athlete at Jonesville High became a two-time All-America linebacker at Tennessee Tech and played in the Hula Bowl, College All-Star Game and Coaches All-America Game. He led the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams in tackles five times while the team captured seven division titles from 1973-79. The 1979 team won the NFC championship, losing to Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl. Youngblood earned All-Pro honors in 1978 and 1979.
The walk-on USC wide receiver from Reevesville (1967-69) garnered All-ACC honors twice and finished his career as the Gamecocks all-time leader in receptions (146) and yards (1,876). He caught a pass in 20 consecutive games, and his 12 catches and 199 receiving yards against Virginia in 1968 were school records and now rank fourth each in USC history. He led the ACC in receptions in 1967.