Clemson's Top Defensive Backs

Clemson's Top Defensive Backs

by - Radio Host -

Clemson’s Top Defensive Backs

We continue our look at the top players by position that I have seen at Clemson (since 1974). Today is our look at defensive backs. Here are the top ten defensive backs I have seen at Clemson:

1. Terry Kinard

Kinard and Anthony Simmons are the two best defensive players I have seen at Clemson. Kinard was inducted into the college football Hall of Fame in 2001 and is in the Ring of Honor at Clemson. He was a 1981 first-team All-American and a 1982 unanimous first-team All-American. Kinard was the 1982 National Defensive Player of the Year. He was an ACC 50-year selection and All-ACC in 1981 and 82. Kinard still holds Clemson’s career record with 17 interceptions. His terrific junior season helped the Tigers to the national title in 1981.

2. Donnell Woolford

Woolford and Kinard are the only two Clemson defensive backs to be named first-team All-American twice. Woolford was a 1987 first-team All-American and a 1988 consensus first-team All-American. In 1987 and 1988 he was selected All-ACC. Woolford was a shutdown corner who holds Clemson career record with 44 passes broken up.

3. Brian Dawkins

Dawkins is perhaps Clemson’s finest professional football player. He could become the school’s first player to make it into the NFL Hall of Fame. At Clemson, he was a 1995 second-team All-American. Dawkins and Robert O’Neal are the only two Tigers to be named All-ACC three times. Dawkins was All-ACC in 1993, 94, and 95.

4. Dexter Davis

Davis would have had better stats, but few ever tested his side of the field. He was All-ACC in 1988 and 1989. He had ten career interceptions and one career fumble return for a touchdown. He had six picks as a senior in 1990.

5. Justin Miller

Miller finished his time at Clemson second in career interceptions with 13 and is still sixth on that list. He was a physical corner who doubled as one of Clemson’s best kick returners in school history. Miller was All-ACC in 2002 and 2004, and a was a second-team All-American in 2004.

6. Robert O’Neal

O’Neal had one of the finest freshmen seasons in school history when he recorded eight interceptions, which is still a single season school record. He was a three-time All-ACC selection making the team in 1989, 91, 92. O’Neal and Brian Dawkins are the only two Tigers to be named All-ACC three times. He is tied for seventh in career interceptions with 12.

7. Antwan Edwards

Edwards had a great career at Clemson including two interceptions against South Carolina in Columbia in 1997. The future first-round pick in the NFL draft was a 1998 third-team All-American. He was selected as an All-ACC performer in 1997 and 1998.

8. Tye Hill

Hill moved to cornerback after a short stint at running back. He set the Clemson record with 21 passes broken up in 2004. In 2005 he was a first-team All-American and All-ACC.

9. DeAndre McDaniel

McDaniel was a 2009 first-team All-American and a third-team All-American the following year. He is one of only three Clemson defensive backs to be named All-American twice in his career

2009,10 All-ACC. The Florida native is tied for second in school history for career interceptions with 15. He was tied for third in the nation in interceptions in 2009. McDaniel led the Tigers in tackles and interceptions as a senior.

10. Mackensie Alexander

Alexander made the list despite playing only two seasons at Clemson and despite not having an interception in his career. For those two seasons, teams simply wouldn't test Alexander often. He was a third-team All-American and an All-ACC selection in 2015.

Among the defensive backs that were considered but did not make the top ten were Robert Carswell, Brian Mande, Jayron Kearse, Cordrea Tankersley, Rod McSwain, Rex Varn, Ronald Watson, Delton Hall, James Lott, Andre Humphrey, Leomont Evans, Dexter McCleon, Charles Harley, Michael Hamlin, Rasheed Hall, Bashaud Breeland, Jamaal Fudge, Crezdon Butler, Jerome Henderson, Byron Maxwell and James Trapp.

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Prayer List

The prayer list is a medium for our community to recognize those that are in need. If you would like to add someone to the list, please email me at Please let me know when it is appropriate to remove a person off the list.

Those who need our prayers include: Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got Igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard Gillespie and his family, Jim S., Daniel Rosborough, the Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L., Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs, Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys," Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas V. family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers, Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr., Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon Thompson, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders, Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Jonathan and Jacki Sullins, Peter Laboy, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack Cunningham, Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon Kirkland and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, B.T., Bill Hilbig, Rita Elrod Hammond and family, Jim McKeller, Tony Alewine, Sharon Storck, Richard Bagnal, Dustin and Brittany Peurifoy, Jan Allan, Gregg and Sylvia Lewis, Travis Hamrick, Kaki Harmon, Jammie McKellar and babies, Karen Edwards, Cathy Hutson Gregg, Kristin Heckman, Jennifer Johnson, Lyndsie Johnson, Emily Davis, Hayes Davis, Judy Towe, Johnny Towe, Ken Brown, Elaine Brown, Rhonda Thompson, Tim Davis, Jacob Greinke, Jack Finley, Richard and Clara Crawford, Israel, Frankie Allen, Bobby Allen, the Wessinger family, the Parsons family, Todd Price and family, Rosemary A Flynn, Dr. Mickey Shealy family, Mr. Gillespie, Bobbi Nicholson, Dr. Matt Stower, Tyler Kemmerlin, Parks Hutto, Robert Summerville, Michelle Richey, Julie Moore, Ashley Fitch, Kevin Anderson, Lyn Price, John Robert Smith, Allison Williams, Nicholas Wickiser, Hammond Family, Elaine G. Duvall, Addison Grace, Bennie Cunningham, Kevin Orcutt, Alan Finley, Keith Wells, Steve Byrd, Jessica Hernandez, Wayne Mullins, Rita Alexander, Tony Osterman, family and friends of Gary Cooper, Derk Denton, Tim Vacek, Mike Vacek, Phil Compton, Alma Jean Sullivan, Lindsey Motley, Riley Cook, Dwayne Wood, Eileen Thomas, Larry Nimmons and Family, Annie Gregory, Amy Black, Will Black, Sam Smith, Dixon Family, Joe Lazorik, Mark Smith, Rene' Nelson, R. Bruce Harnage, Norris Brown and family, Tanner Cain, Avery Cain, Ted Wilson, Sandra Wilson, Leoffels family, Wren Jansen, Gail Culbreth, Jody Sinex, Donald Sikes, Carolyn and Richard Helderman, Jimmy Hutto, Christina M. Facen, Mike McGrady, John Harrison, and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.

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