Clemson March Madness: Vote for best Tiger athletes in Bowman Region


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Deshaun Watson left his mark on the Clemson record books in three years.
Deshaun Watson left his mark on the Clemson record books in three years.

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

First-round voting for the first bracket region -- Cemetery Hill -- saw a pair of upsets with Vic Beasley easing to a win over two-time baseball All-American Shane Monahan and Levon Kirkland besting Perry Tuttle on three of the four voting spots (TigerNet/Tigernet staff/Facebook). One-seed Barbara Kennedy-Dixon, two-seed Jeff Davis, three-seed CJ Spiller, four-seed Seth Beer, five-seed Travis Etienne and seven-seed Anthony Simmons also moved on.

Here's the full Clemson March Madness bracket:

Click here or on the image for larger view

The Bowman Field bracket here is stacked with national champions -- nine team and/or individual spots atop the nation -- as well as multiple All-American honors and a bunch of record-holders. 

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. Debate for your favorites in the bracket (or talk up the Tigers not in the field of 64) and examine the profiles for your pick of this elite group of Tigers. Without further ado, vote below (10 a.m. 3/25 deadline)!


Bowman Field Region


Case for Perry

* Played: 1981-84

* Clemson’s first three-time All-American and All-ACC honoree, including consensus first-team All-American honors in 1983 and also first-team in 1984.

* Led Division I in tackles for loss per game as a senior (2.45) and was a Lombardi Award finalist (nation’s top player), tallying 100 tackles (27 for loss) with 10 sacks.  

* Perry left Clemson with the top marks in sacks (25) and tackles for loss (60; also leading the ACC all-time).

Case for Lawrence

Played: 2016-18

* Two-time All-American, including first-team honors as a junior after totaling 44 tackles, 7.5 for loss, with three pass breakups, 1.5 sacks, a blocked kick and a rushing touchdown.

* Freshman All-American after setting a school record for his class with seven sacks.

* One of three Clemson D-linemen picked in the 2019 NFL draft first round, going 17th overall to the New York Giants.

TigerNet staff vote: Perry 100%

Case for Key

Played: 1980-82

* The only Clemson baseball player to earn first-team All-ACC at two positions in the same season (1982), at pitcher and designated hitter, where he led the ACC in doubles (21), strikeouts (94), wins (9) and complete games (7). He paced the Tigers with a .359 average and 2.79 ERA that season.

* Before a third-round selection as a pitcher (Toronto), Key totaled 20 wins as a Tiger.

* He hit .325 over his Clemson career with 10 home runs.

Case for Henson

Competed: 1992-94

* Back-to-back NCAA champion at 118 pounds in 1993-94 while going 71-0 in matches.

* Clemson's male athlete of the year and the ACC wrestler of the year in 1994 after going 37-0. Led Clemson to its best team finish in the NCAA Championships of 7th in 1994.

* Honored as a top-100 athlete in ACC history.

TigerNet staff vote: Henson 100%

Case for Rollins

Played: 1973-77

* Earned All-American and All-ACC honors as Clemson reached a school-record 22 wins at the time in the 1976-77 season. 

* An ACC 50th anniversary team member and the conference’s all-time leader in blocks per game over his career (4.1) and third in total blocked shots (450). Led the ACC in rebounds in 1975 (11.7) and 1977 (11.7) and in blocks per game in 1977 (3.9).

* Clemson’s leader and top-10 in ACC history in double-doubles (61), and also tops in school history in rebounds (1,311) and blocked shots (450).

Case for Solomon

Played: 1998-2001

* All-ACC guard in 2000 and 2001 and the conference leader in points per game in the 1999-2000 season (20.9).

* Scored in double-figures in every game of the 1999-2000 season and 52-straight overall for a Clemson record.

* Holds the school mark for field goals in a season (252) and the Littlejohn record of 43 points (vs. Virginia in 2000).

TigerNet staff vote: Rollins 100%

Case for Watkins

Played: 2011-13

* Clemson’s first three-time, first-team All-American before tying Banks McFadden as the highest-picked Tiger in the NFL draft (4th; Buffalo Bills). 

* Watkins left Clemson first in school history in receptions (240), receptions per game (6.7), receiving yards (3,391), receiving yards per game (94.2), 100-yard receiving games (15), tied for first in receiving touchdowns (27), second in all-purpose yards (5,129) and fifth in kickoff return yards (1,376).

* He set Clemson single-season marks as a junior in receptions (101) and receiving yards (1,464) to be a Biletnikoff Award finalist.

Case for O'Dell

Played: 1952-54

* Clemson's first baseball All-American with school-best marks still standing in career ERA (1.51), strikeouts in a game (21 vs. South Carolina in 1952), K/9 in a game (21), K/9 in a season (13.4/1953), career K/9 (12.3), season H/9 (3.11) and career H/9 (5.29).

* Holds the second-best ERA in a single-season (0.79; 1954) and the top-two seasons in K/9 (13.4 in 1953; 13.02 in 1952).  

* Threw a no-hitter versus South Carolina in 1953. Ranks second-best in school history in shutouts (5) and third-best in complete games (19). 

TigerNet staff vote: Watkins 100%

Case for Crawford

Competed: 1997-2000

* Three-time NCAA national champion with top-place finishes in the indoor (1998 and 2000) and outdoor 200-meter dash (2000). Second in Clemson track history with 11 ACC championships.

* Clemson track’s leader in All-American honors with 11, totaling four indoor and seven outdoor marks. A 12-time All-ACC selection. 

* Still holds the Clemson record in the 200m indoor (20.09) and outdoor (20.26).

Case for Koch

Played: 1994-96

* Second-highest MLB draft pick in Clemson history at No. 4 overall to the Toronto Blue Jays in 1996 (Kris Benson was No. 1 in the same season for Tigers).

* Second-team All-American in 1996 after tallying 152 strikeouts over 19 appearances with a 10-5 record.

* Ranks third in Clemson history with that 152-strikeout season and third in K/9 (11).

TigerNet staff vote: Crawford 100%

Case for McIntyre

Played: 1995-99

* Three-time All-ACC honoree, including first-team honors as a senior, with a spot on three NCAA Tournament-making Tiger teams. 

* Led the ACC in points per game in 1999 (17.9). 

* McIntyre ranks second in Clemson history in career scoring (1,839), second in three-point goals (259), third in assists (577) and fourth in steals (194).

Case for Ford

Played: 2006-09

* National champion in the 60-meter dash (6.51) with five track All-American honors (three-time ACC champion).

* Tied for the most career punt return TDs (2) and most ways to account for a touchdown in a season (5, run, pass, reception, punt return and kick return). Had the second-longest punt return in Clemson history (92; other was Richie Luzzi in 1968, 108 yards). 

* Second-team All-ACC honoree in football for 2009 with 56 catches for 779 yards and six touchdowns.

TigerNet staff vote: McIntyre 100%

Case for McMillon

Played: 1991-93

* First-team All-American in 1993 after 27 extra-base hits, 118 total bases, 64 runs, 11 stolen bases and 30 RBIs. 

* Led the 1991 (.391; ACC-leading) and 1993 teams in batting average (.377). He ranked first in the ACC in on-base percentage in 1991 as well (.496). 

* A two-time All-ACC honoree, his career .381 average is fourth-best in school history.

Case for Dawkins

Played: 1992-95

* Second-team All-American in 1995 after totaling 89 tackles (four for loss), nine pass breakups and six interceptions.

* Three-time All-ACC honoree with a first-team spot in 1995. His three interceptions in one game that season versus Duke (all in one quarter) are a Clemson record. Dawkins' eight takeaways that season overall rank second in school history.

* Totaled 23 pass breakups, 15 takeaways and 251 tackles over 46 games (35 starts) as a Tiger.

TigerNet staff vote: McMillon 100%

Case for Watson

Played: 2014-2016

* Two-time winner of the Manning and Davey O’Brien awards (nation’s top QB) and also national player of the year in 2016 (Chic Harley Award) and national MVP in 2015 (Archie Griffin Award), as well as a finalist for the Walter Camp and Heisman trophies.

* Left Clemson third in ACC history in total offense (12,094) and first in Clemson history in career completion percentage (.674), passing efficiency (157.5) and total offense per game (318.3) over just three seasons (including the most total offensive yards in a Clemson game with 588 vs. Pittsburgh in 2016).

* Tossed 16 passing touchdowns to only two interceptions in the fourth quarter, including a last-second TD connection to Hunter Renfrow against Alabama in the 2016 season to secure Clemson’s first national title since 1981. He tied Rodney Williams and Tajh Boyd for the most wins as a Tigers starting QB in that game (32).

Case for Byrd

Played: 1996-2000

* Two-time All-American and first Clemson golfer to earn first-team All-ACC honors in all four years played.

* Second in Clemson history in top-10 tournament finishes (26), third in birdies (505) and fourth in rounds in the 60s (30). 

* Ranked as high as the No. 6 player in the nation (1999).

TigerNet staff vote: Watson 100%

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

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