Clemson's Best Wide Receivers

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Clemson's Best Wide Receivers

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 wide receivers in the last 40 seasons:

1. DeAndre HopkinsDeAndre Hopkins
Wide Receiver
#6 6-2, 205
Central, SC

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There are so many great wide outs at Clemson over the last forty years, so this list is the toughest yet. I went with Hopkins as the number one despite him playing only three seasons. Last year he broke the Clemson record for the most career receiving yards with 3,009. His 27 career touchdown receptions were also a school record. Hopkins had 1,405 yards last year most in school history for a single season. His 18 touchdowns last season broke the school record for a single season. Hopkins' 205 catches is second in school history. His 82 catches last year tied for second most in one season. Hopkins is the only player with two of the top five seasons in terms of receptions.

2. Jerry ButlerJerry Butler
Wide Receiver
# 6-0, 180
Ware Shoals, SC

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Butler played in a different era where the passing game was not featured but he still had 139 catches for 2,223 yards and 11 touchdowns in his career. His 139 career catches broke the school record at the time and is still tied for tenth in Clemson history. He is one of eight receivers to have over 2,000 yards in his career. Butler was a two-time All-ACC selection and an All-American in 1978. He caught passes in 36 consecutive games in his career. Butler was also a track superstar and is in the Clemson Ring of Honor. Butler was the fifth overall pick in the 1979 NFL draft.

3. Rod Gardner

Gardner is one of only five wide receivers to become an All-American. He was All-ACC in 1999 and 2000. Gardner is one of seven Clemson receivers to be named All-ACC twice. He is the only receiver in Clemson history to have two 1,000 yard receiving seasons. Gardner had 166 receptions which is fourth in school history. His 2,498 yards is still fifth in school history and his 13 touchdowns is still in the top ten in school history. Gardner's 80 catches in 1999 is still fourth most in a single season at Clemson.

4. Perry Tuttle

Tuttle will be remembered for many of his 150 catches but none bigger than his catch in the Orange Bowl. His 150 receptions is still sixth in Clemson history. His 2,534 yards is fourth on the career list and his 17 touchdowns are fourth in Clemson history. Tuttle was an All-American in 1981. He was an All-ACC selection in 1980 and 1981.

5. Terry Smith

Smith had a great career at Clemson and is still in the top ten in Clemson history in receptions, yards and touchdowns. Smith's 162 receptions are still fifth in school history. His 2,681 yards are third in yards and his 15 touchdowns are eighth on the career list. Smith was an All-ACC selection in 1991.

6. Derrick Hamilton

The Noodle had 167 catches for 2,312 yards and 16 touchdowns despite playing only three seasons. He ended his career as the all-time leader in receptions and is currently third in school history. He is one of eight players at Clemson to have over 2,000 yards receiving and is still sixth on the career list at Clemson. His 16 touchdowns is currently tied for fifth. He set the school record for career kickoff returns.

7. Aaron Kelly

No one has caught more passes at Clemson than Kelly. His ended his career with 232 receptions. He also set the school record with 2,733 yards and 20 touchdowns. The yards and touchdowns are now second only to Nuk Hopkins. Kelly's 88 catches in 2007 is still the most in a single season at Clemson. Kelly was All-ACC in 2007 and 2008.

8. Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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Watkins made my list despite only playing two years so far at Clemson. His 139 receptions and tied for tenth in Clemson history. His 1,927 yards are tenth on the career list and his 15 touchdowns are tied for eighth. Watkins had 82 catches as a freshman which is tied for second most in a single season. His 1,219 yards in 2011 set the school record for most yards in a season. His 12 touchdowns also set the school record for touchdowns in a season. Watkins was a rare All-American as a freshman.

9. Jacoby FordJacoby Ford
Wide Receiver
#6 5-9, 175
Royal Palm Beach, FL

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Perhaps the fastest football player ever at Clemson, Ford had 143 receptions for 1,986 yards and 16 touchdowns. Those 143 catches are seventh in Clemson history. The 1,986 yards are ninth at Clemson. His 16 touchdowns are tied for fifth in school history. Ford was an All-ACC pick in 2009. He also holds several school and ACC records in track.

10. Airese Currie

Much like Ford, Currie was a blazer. He ended his career with 138 catches which is tied for 12th in Clemson history. He also had 2,030 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is one of eight receivers to have over 2,000 yards receiving. Currie was an All-ACC choice in 2004.

I considered many others that were more than deserving for the top ten list. Terrence Roulhac had 92 receptions for 1,487 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was also a kick off return specialist

Brian WoffordBrian Wofford
Wide Receiver
#25 6-1, 170
Spartanburg, SC

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had 138 receptions for 1,857 yards and 13 touchdowns. He is tied for 12th in receptions, 11th in yards and tied for tenth in touchdowns.

Tony Horne had 120 catches for 1,750 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Chansi StuckeyChansi Stuckey
Wide Receiver
# 6-0, 200
Warner Robins, GA

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had 141 receptions for 1,760 yards and seven touchdowns. Stuckey is ninth in receptions and 12th in yards.

Mal Lawyer had 99 catches for 1,255 yards and nine touchdowns.

Ray Williams had 86 receptions for 1,290 yards and six touchdowns.

Kevin Youngblood had 142 receptions for 1,713 yards and six touchdowns. He is eighth in receptions and 14th in yards.

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

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Post your comments!
Subject (Replies: 28) Author
spacer Mickey Plyler's Blog: Clemson's Best Wide Receivers
TigerNet News®
spacer I always felt like Gary Cooper was as talented as they come
spacer Especially when we played a game at "High Noon."***
spacer Hopkins solidified the #1 spot after the LSU game
El Tigre 1
spacer this does not hold water...
spacer No Dwight Clark?
spacer I agree - my biggest memory of Dwight Clark........
spacer Re: I agree - my biggest memory of Dwight Clark........
spacer Yep of best games ever and he was good that day.
spacer No way, not by any stretch was Dwight Clark one of the
Smiling Tiger®
spacer agree-he had a pretty unremarkable Clemson career
spacer Re: agree-he had a pretty unremarkable Clemson career
spacer That argument does not apply in this case.
Smiling Tiger®
spacer I have to agree - he wasn't really in the top group.....
spacer I still have Jerry Butler as # 1 over Nuk.***
spacer Agreed***
spacer and Amen!***
spacer Pretty close MP. My 10:
spacer Wyatt does deserve mention
spacer I'll never be able to forget Airese Curry when he dropped...
spacer I think Stuckey over Currie and Kelly over Hamilton (because
spacer Have to say I disagree....
Prime T. Tiger
spacer Big surprise who you picked # 1;). Hamilton was
spacer Not sure he would make my top 10 either, but Tony Horn
He Hate Me
spacer No, Tony Horn should be there...***
CM Shack®
spacer Remember the punt return against the coots in 97?***
spacer Re: Mickey Plyler's Blog: Clemson's Best Wide Receivers
spacer No way Nuk is #1.....
spacer A nice list to read through. What's cool is that Sammy