Clemson March Madness: Jervey Region features recent stars, throwback legends


by - Correspondent -
Isaiah Simmons earned All-American honors and the Butkus Award as the nation's LB as a senior.
Isaiah Simmons earned All-American honors and the Butkus Award as the nation's LB as a senior.

Our version of March Madness is using the extra time at home now to recognize the best competitors in Clemson athletics history.

This exercise, which is measuring their top accomplishments while a collegiate athlete, is meant to be fun and a celebration of Clemson athletes across the decades.  

Several of the top stars from the previous decade are featured in the Jervey Bracket region with track star Brianna Rollins taking on fellow national champ Trevor Lawrence after his two years of competition, as well as spots for Isaiah Simmons and Tajh Boyd. It's also a strong bracket for men's basketball with Greg Buckner, Dale Davis, Trevor Booker and Horace Grant all featured.

In the most recent vote, the Sikes Hall bracket region went all chalk in the first round with (in order) Banks McFadden (football/track/basketball), Rusty Adkins (baseball), Khalil Greene (baseball), Michael Dean Perry (football), Elden Campbell (basketball), Bruce Murray (men's soccer), Tina Krebs (track & field/cross-country) and Christian Wilkins (football) moving on.

Here's the full Clemson March Madness bracket:

Click here or on the image for larger view

Debate for your favorites in the bracket and examine the profiles for your pick of this elite group of Tigers. Without further ado, vote below (Voting deadline at 10 a.m. on 3/27)!


Jervey Region


Case for Rollins

Competed: 2009-13

* Won the Bowerman Award for the nation’s top track athlete in 2013 after going undefeated in 26 races, amateur and pro, to capture two NCAA championships (60m and 100m hurdles) and two ACC titles, as well as a US title and a world championship gold medal. She also earned USTFCCCA National Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, Southeast Region Track Athlete of the Year and ACC Indoor and Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year.

* Rollins left Clemson with a total of eight All-American honors, which was the second-most in Clemson history. She was also an eight-time ACC champion. In addition to the 2013 run, she was also an NCAA champion in the 2011 indoor 60m hurdles.

* She holds the Clemson records in the 60m hurdle indoor (7.78 secs) and 100m outdoor hurdles (12.39).

Case for Lawrence

Played: 2018-current

* Led Clemson to the first 15-0 season in modern college football history and to 25 consecutive wins as a starter overall, which is the sixth-longest streak in CFB history for a starting QB.

* A two-time Manning Award finalist (nation's top QB), Lawrence, a consensus freshman All-American, was the first true freshman to lead a team to a national title since 1985.

* Ended the 2019 season on a streak of 239-straight pass attempts without an interception, a school record, and added a running threat with 698 yards gained and the second-most rushing TDs on the team (9). 

TigerNet staff vote: Rollins 100%

 

Case for Cunningham

Played: 1972-75

* Two-time first-team All-American, including earning consensus status in 1974.

* Two-time first-team All-ACC honoree who held the Clemson TE single-season scoring record until 2011 with seven TDs in 1974.

* A first-round NFL draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers (28th overall), Cunningham was the first African-American in school history to make an All-American list. Also earned the Frank Howard Award (the athlete who was best that year in “bringing honor to Clemson”).

Case for Warren

Played: 1994-98

* Clemson's only individual golf NCAA Champion (1997) and one of six Clemson golfers to earn first-team All-America twice. Three All-America honors overall. Dave Williams Award winner for the nation's top senior in 1998. 

* Two-time ACC individual champion and one of two ACC competitors to win the conference and national crowns in the same year.

* Holds the Clemson mark for low score in the NCAA National (272; 16-under par). Had 11 consecutive rounds under par in 1997-98. Fourth-most top-10 finishes in school history (22). 

TigerNet staff vote: Cunningham 80%

Case for Benson

Played: 1994-96

* 1996 national player of the year, All-American and ACC athlete and player of the year.

* His 7.56 strikeout to walk ratio in 1996 still ranks best in Clemson history. He won 15 consecutive starts over the 1995-96 seasons. His four shutouts in the 1996 season are still a conference record. 

* No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 MLB Draft (Pittsburgh Pirates). 204 strikeouts in the 1996 season, which is second in Clemson history.

Case for Buckner

Played: 1994-98

* All-ACC honors in 1997 and 1998 and All-ACC Tourney in 1996. Averaged 16 points per game in his all-conference seasons.

* Tied for Clemson's most double-figure scoring games (97), third in field goals made (679) and fourth in points scored (1,754). Was only the fifth player in ACC history to lead his team in scoring four-straight seasons. 

* ACC rookie of the year in 1995 (12 ppg/5.9 rpg)

TigerNet staff vote: 100% Benson

Case for Davis

Dale Davis - men’s basketball

Played: 1987-91

* Honorable mention All-America and three-time All-ACC pick, earning first-team honors in the Tigers’ 1990 ACC regular-season title run. 

* Davis, a 1990 first-round NBA draft pick (Indiana), averaged a double-double over his upperclassmen seasons with 16.5 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. 

* His 1,216 rebounds rank ninth in ACC history and his career field goal percentage (.588) is in the top-20 (17th).

Case for LeCroy

Played:1995-97

* Two-time All-American, including first-team honors in 1997 after hitting .359 with 79 RBIs, 24 home runs and 85 total hits. 

* Ranks fifth in school history with the 24-homer campaign and third-best in HR per at-bat (1/9.9). 

* ACC freshman of the year in 1995. 

TigerNet staff vote: 100% Davis

 

Case for Baker

Played: 2000-02

* Two-time first-team All-American during a Clemson run that included two College World Series bids. 

* His 59 home runs are tied for most in Clemson history with Andy D’Alessio, and he ranks second in RBIs (226).

* Baker's 23 home runs in 2001 led the ACC.

Case for Simmons

Played: 2016-19

* 2019 Butkus Award winner (nation's top LB; Clemson's first) and just the sixth unanimous football All-American in school history.

* Posted team-leading tackle totals in both 2019 (107) and 2018 (97), in addition to team-best 2019 bests in tackles for loss (16), QB pressures (15), pass breakups (10) and sacks (8) while playing a number of defensive positions. 

* A letterwinner for the 2017 track and field team in the long jump with a 13th-best finish at the ACC indoor championships. 

TigerNet staff vote: 80% Simmons 

Case for Grant

Played: 1983-87

* Consensus All-American and ACC player of the year in 1987 after averaging 21 points and 9.6 rebounds.

* Led the ACC in rebounds per game in both 1986 (10.5) and 1987 (9.6). Also led the conference in field goal percentage (65.6) in 1987. 

* ACC 50th-year anniversary team member with Tree Rollins as Clemson’s reps. No. 10 pick in the 1987 NBA Draft (Chicago). Clemson’s all-time leader in field goals made (256).

Case for Spiers

Played: 1985-87

* First team All-American in 1987 after hitting .290 with 44 RBIs, 16 stolen bases, 13 doubles and 11 triples (a single-season Clemson-best).

* Ranks third all-time at Clemson in triples (17) and fourth in stolen bases (35).

* Averaged 39.2 yards per attempt as Clemson's starting punter in 1986. 

TigerNet staff vote: 100% Grant

 

Case for Booker

Played: 2006-10

* Two-time All-ACC forward, including a first-team honor as a senior with 15.2 points and 8.4 rebounds a game. 

* First-team All-ACC Tournament in Clemson’s run to the title game in 2008 and also an ACC all-defensive team member in 2009 and 2010. Led the ACC in field goal percentage in 2009 (57.1).

* Top-25 in the ACC all-time in career blocks per game (1.9; 16th) and rebounds (1,060; 25th). Made the most starts (134) and the second-most field goals (687) in school history.

Case for Boyd

Played: 2010-13

* First-team All-America and ACC Player of the Year in 2012 and first-team All-ACC as a sophomore and second-team All-ACC as a senior. 

* ACC-record holder with 13,069 total yards, 133 total and 107 passing touchdowns. 

* First in school history in passing yards (11,904) and completions (901). Has three of the top-5 single-game passing performances in Clemson history and the best single-season completion percentage (68.5). 

TigerNet staff vote: 80% Boyd

Case for Kinard

Terry Kinard - Football

Played: 1978-82

* First Clemson player to earn first-team AP All-American honors in consecutive seasons (1981-82).  

* Named national defensive player of the year by CBS Sports and earned unanimous All-American honors in 1982, a Clemson first.

* A College Football Hall of Famer and All-Century team member, Kinard was picked with the 10th selection in the 1983 draft by the New York Giants.

Case for Colvin

Played: 2004-06

* First-team All-American in 2006 after hitting .356 with 13 homers, 70 RBIs, 23 stolen bases and 100 total hits.

* Clinched a 2006 College World Series bid with a walk-off grand slam versus Oral Roberts. 

* Tied for the fourth-highest MLB draft pick for the Tigers (13th, Chicago Cubs).

TigerNet staff vote: 100% Kinard

  State your case for the matchups and more in the comments.  

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