TigerNet Top-5: Who are the top Clemson DEs of the ACC era?


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Shaq Lawson posted one of the better seasons in Clemson history in 2015.
Shaq Lawson posted one of the better seasons in Clemson history in 2015.

The TigerNet Top-5 for Clemson football is analyzing the top players by position in the ACC era (1953-on) -- starting on the best defensive ends here.

How exactly do you judge nearly seven decades of gridiron action?

Our formula weighs a number of factors, including national awards, All-America and conference honors as well as school single-game, single-season and career records. An impact rating on that team success and the intangibles involved are also judged in that mix. And wrapping up the college aspect, we take how NFL scouts judged them with their draft position.

Clemson’s more recent history with D-ends has contained multiple national-award winners and statistical leaders on some stout Tiger defensive units.

Here’s No.5 on the list:

TigerNet Top-5: DE

Played: 2013-15

Notable career stats: 46.5 TFLs, 20 sacks and 167 total stops over 30 games.

Why he’s here: Lawson launched his campaign as a top defensive end in Clemson history as a junior in 2015 with a nation-leading 25.5 tackles for loss and an ACC-best 12.5 sacks.

The Daniel High (S.C.) product was a consensus first-team All-American and a finalist for Hendricks (top DE), Lombardi (best CFB player) and Nagurski awards (best defensive player).

The 25.5 TFL-season ranks second only to Da’Quan Bowers in Clemson history for a defensive end (26) and the 12.5 sacks are top-5 in school history (T-4).

Lawson also earned freshman All-American honors with 10 tackles for loss in his 35 stops and four sacks over 13 games. He was a key reserve in 2014 on a Clemson defense that finished No. 1 in yards allowed and tackles for loss (Lawson contributing 11.5; second-most on team).

Lawson was drafted in the NFL draft’s first round by the Buffalo Bills at No. 19 overall. He recently signed with the Miami Dolphins.

Who fills out your top-5 Clemson DEs in the ACC era?

TigerNet Top-5: DE

5. Shaq Lawson

4. Gaines Adams

3. Da'Quan Bowers

2. Vic Beasley

1. Clelin Ferrell

(Stats compiled and written by Brandon Rink)

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