Hall of Famers

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Hall of Famers

Yesterday we got the news that two former Clemson football greats will be inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.   Brian DawkinsBrian Dawkins
Safety (1992 - 1995)
#20 6-0, 200
Jacksonville, FL

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and Rodney Williams will go into the prestigious Hall of Fame in May.  Both are already in the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame and this is the nest step in honoring two former Tigers.  My guess is that both have a chance to one day be in the Clemson Ring of Honor and I would be shocked if Dawkins does not get the call to be inducted into the National Football League Hall of Fame one day soon.

These players played on different teams at different positions on different sides of the football.  Dawkins came to Clemson from Jacksonville, FL and Williams from Irmo, SC.   Maybe Dawkins saw Williams play in the Gator Bowl in 1986 in his backyard.  They are different players but they have one thing in common: perhaps both players made a bigger impact on the program after their playing days were over.

Dawkins loves Clemson and still speaks very highly of his alma mater.  He never misses the chance to get back and have an impact on the program.  In fact, Dawkins' career at Clemson and in the NFL was such a success the university created the Brian Dawkins Lifetime Achievement Award.

"Brian Dawkins has represented this football program and this university with distinction for over 20 years," said Clemson head football coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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. "He had a terrific career at Clemson, then had an even better career in the NFL with Philadelphia and Denver.

"But it was not just his accomplishments on the field, it was his character, leadership, and respect that people have for him. For years, I have dealt with NFL scouts, coaches, and general managers, and I can't tell you how many times they have told me stories about Brian Dawkins."

Each year Swinney will present the Brian Dawkins Lifetime Achievement Award at the Clemson Football Banquet in January. The recipient will then be honored the following fall at a football game in Memorial Stadium. Dawkins was on hand to first receive the award at the banquet honoring the 2012 team in January. Swinney plans to have Dawkins come to the banquet each year to present the award.

"Brian Dawkins epitomizes this award," continued Swinney. "What an impact he has had on the world of football. You could see the passion and the leadership every time he took the field.”

Like Dawkins, Williams is also still close to the football program.  In fact, Williams was at the first practice of the spring this past week.  Williams has been more than generous with his support of the football program and athletic department since graduating from Clemson.  He has given in his time on several committees, including a vital athletic oversight committee that has helped shape the vision of the athletic department at Clemson.

Recently, I had a conversation with Clemson safety Travis BlanksTravis Blanks
Jr. Defensive Back
#11 6-0, 190
Tallahassee, FL

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and he told me how important it was to leave Clemson with a bigger influence than just on the football field.  Blanks' vision is one where he can make a bigger impact than his four years on the field.  For Blanks, it sounded similar to the goals of former Clemson star C.J. SpillerC.J. Spiller
Pro Running Back
#28 5-11, 195
Lake Butler, FL

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.  For Spiller, it sounded a lot like Dawkins.  For Dawkins, it sounded a lot like Williams.  All of those players sound a lot like what Dabo Swinney wants for his program.

Below are the bios released yesterday by the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame:

Brian Dawkins played in the NFL for 16 seasons after a successful career at Clemson, where he was a three-year starter at free safety in (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 Sporting News. He was first team All-ACC in ‘95 and second team in ‘93 and ‘94. Dawkins finished eighth in the nation in interceptions during his second season, having set a Clemson record for most interceptions in a quarter against Duke with three in ‘95 and was named Sports Illustrated’s national defensive player of the week for that performance. Dawkins finished his career third in Tiger history in tackles by a defensive back.  He was a second round draft pick for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1996, an NFL All-Rookie selection in ‘96, and chosen All-Pro six times. He was also a nine-time All-Pro Bowl selection. Dawkins was named to Clemson’s Centennial Team in 1996 and was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 2009. He 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.

Rodney 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. Williams 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 Bowl Games and three consecutive victories: 1986 Gator Bowl vs. Stanford, the1988 Citrus Bowl vs. Penn State and 1989 Citrus Bowl vs Oklahoma. He was enshrined in the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame.

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Defensive Tackle (2008 - 2011)
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, 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, Danny Hammond, 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, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Doug Bailey and family, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Harlan Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Edward Easterling, Dawson Bourne, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack  Cunningham,  Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Jim Lanier, Bob Garrett, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Jeanne Thompson, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon KirklandLevon Kirkland
# 0, 0

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and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, Patrick DeStefanoPatrick DeStefano
Offensive Line (2012 - 2013)
#71 6-5, 275
Spartanburg, SC

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, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, B.T., Bill Hilbig, 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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