Clemson's Best Tight Ends

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Clemson's Best Tight Ends

I started watching Clemson football in 1974 and can remember all of the great players over the last forty years. I am in the process of giving my thoughts on the greatest Tigers at every position over that 40 year span. I think it is only fair for me to comment on the players I actually saw play. So below is my ranking for the best Tight Ends in the last 40 seasons:

1. Bennie CunninghamBennie Cunningham
Tight End
#85 6-5, 250
Seneca, SC

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Cunningham is the only two-time All-American at tight end in the last 40 seasons. He was an All-American in 1974 and 1975. He is also one of only two tight ends in the last forty seasons to make the All-ACC team twice. Cunningham is the only tight end in the last forty years to make it into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame. He was the only tight end named to the ACC's 50-year Anniversary Team. Cunningham played with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1976-85. He played longer in the NFL than any other Clemson tight end. I remember "Big Bennie" being larger than life. He was the one of the few lone bright spots during a very average time in Clemson football but he was special in his day.

2. Dwayne AllenDwayne Allen
Tight End
#83 6-3, 255
Fayetteville, NC

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Allen came to Clemson as a big name prospect but it took him a little time to make his impact. When he did, no tight end ever stretched the field like him. Allen was a terrific pass receiver and became the main target on third downs and in the red zone in his final season. Allen had an incredible 2011 season where he won the Mackey Award given annually to the nation's top tight end. For the season he caught 50 passes including eight for touchdowns. Allen was an All-American in 2011 making him only the second tight end in the last forty seasons to have an All-American season. In 2011 he was also was an All-ACC choice.

3. Jim Riggs

When you draw up tight ends, Riggs is exactly what you think of. He looked like an NFL tight end when he was at Clemson and went on to a long NFL career after he left. Riggs is one of only two tight ends in the last 40 years to make the All-ACC team twice. He was an All-ACC pick in 1984 and 1985.

4. K.D.Dunn

Dunn was another physical specimen. He played in a time where the Tigers did not throw the ball much and the tight end was not featured a lot in the passing game but Dunn had a fantastic career. Dunn was selected as the All-ACC tight end in 1983.

T-5. Lamont Hall

Hall was another terrific tight end that was underutilized in the passing game but was an outstanding athlete. He was an All-ACC selection in 1996.

T-5. Michael PalmerMichael Palmer
Tight End
# 6-4, 228
Lilburn, GA

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Palmer was not a highly recruited athlete but his work ethic cannot be ignored in this list. He made himself into a very good player and an NFL career followed his playing days at Clemson. Palmer was an All-ACC selection in 2009.

Others I considered for the top five included players like Ben Hall, James Coley, Anthony King, Bubba Diggs, Danny PearmanDanny Pearman
Assistant Head Coach / Tight Ends
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, Jerome Williams, Stacey Fields, Ty Gibson, Stephon Wynn, Ed Glenn, T.J. Watkins, Brandon FordBrandon Ford
Tight End
#80 6-4, 240
Wando, SC

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and Thomas Hunter.

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Defensive Tackle
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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