Clemson's Top Defensive Linemen

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Clemson’s Top Defensive Linemen

We continue our look at the top players by position that I have seen at Clemson (since 1974). Today is our look at defensive linemen. This is the most difficult list yet because there are so many great players to consider. Here are the top ten defensive linemen I have seen at Clemson:

1. Michael Dean Perry

This is the best defensive lineman I have seen at Clemson. This is a tough category because there are so many great ones, but Michael Dean Perry is the best in my opinion. His 61 tackles for a loss is a Clemson career record. His final tackle for a loss broke his brother’s record. He broke the career sack record at Clemson with 28, a record that was later broken by Vic Beasley. Perry was a 1987 first-team All-American. He was the 1987 ACC Player of the Year. He was All-ACC in 1986 and 1987. Perry was an ACC 50-year selection and is a six-time Pro Bowler.

2. William Perry

William is Clemson’s only three-time All-American on the defensive line. He was a third-team selection in 1982 and first-team in 1983 and 1984. He is one of two Clemson defensive linemen to be a two-time first team All-American. Perry was the 1984 ACC Player of the Year. He and his brother Michael Dean are the only Clemson defensive linemen to be named the ACC Player of the Year. Perry was All-ACC from 1982-84. He was an ACC 50 Year Selection and a 1984 Lombardi Award Finalist. His 27 tackles for a loss in 1984 is second in Clemson history and is tied for the most by a defensive lineman. His 60 tackles for a loss are second in school history. Perry is fourth in career sacks with 27.

3. Vic Beasley

Beasley and William Perry are the only two-time first-team All-American defensive linemen in Clemson history. He was a consensus first-team All-American in 2013 and 2014. Beasley was the 2014 ACC Defensive Player of the Year. His 33 sacks are a Clemson career record. In 2014 he was a Bednarik and Lombardi finalist. Beasley was All-ACC in 2013 and 2014.

4. Christian Wilkins

Wilkins is just the second Clemson sophomore defensive linemen to be named All-American. He was also All-ACC last season. Wilkins helped Clemson to its second national title. Last season he was a Nagurski Finalist and was named first-team All-American and All-ACC.

5. Daquan Bowers

Bowers is the only Clemson defensive lineman to win a national award. In 2010 he won the Hendricks Award for the nation’s top defensive end and the Nagurski Award which is given to the country’s top defensive player. That same year he was a Lombardi Award finalist. His 15.5 sacks in 2010 is second in school history for a single season. As a senior, he was a consensus first-team All-American. Bowers was also the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and All-ACC.

6. Gaines Adams

Adams is tied for second in Clemson career sacks with 28. He was a Nagurski award finalist 2006. The same season Adams was a consensus first-team All-American. He was also the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and was an All-ACC selection.

7. Jeff Bryant

Bryant helped a Clemson to its first national title. In 1981, he was a second-team All-American and first-team All-ACC. Bryant was the sixth overall pick in the 1982 NFL Draft.

8. Grady Jarrett

Jarrett is one of my all-time favorites. He is not as physically talented as anyone on this list, but no one played with more effort. Jarrett led the Tigers to the nation’s top defense in 2014. That same year he was third-team All-American and first-team All-ACC.

9. Shaq Lawson

Lawson enjoyed a great season in 2015 where he was a Lombardi and Nagurski Award finalist. He is selected as a first-team All-American and All-ACC in that season.

10. Dexter Lawrence

I know it is early in his career, but Lawrence is the first Clemson defensive linemen to make the All-ACC team as a freshman.

This is the hardest list yet when you consider players like Chester McGlockton, Trevor Pryce, Jim Stuckey, James Robinson, Rob Bodine, Andre Branch, Carlos Watkins, Steve Durham, Dan Benish, Steve Berlin, Tony Stephens, Mark Drag, Richard McCullough, Vance Hammond, Otis Moore, Brentson Buckner, Marvin Cross, Lamarick Simpson, Lorenzo Brommell, Raymond White, Adrian Dingle, Terry Jolly, Nick Eason, Bryant McNeal, Donnell Washington, Ricky Sapp, Jarvis Jenkins, and Brandon Thompson did not make the top ten.

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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, 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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