In the last 30 years, Clemson has produced a lot of great athletes, especially on the offensive side of the football.
Recently, the ACC Digital Network released what it believed to be the best offensive players in the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1990. Three former Tigers made their list and they all played in the Dabo Swinney era.
In all Clemson and Florida State led the way with three players each on their Top 10 list (see video below).
The three Clemson players were former running back C.J. Spiller, former wide receiver Sammy Watkins and former quarterback Deshaun Watson.
C.J. Spiller, RB, 2006-’09: Spiller is still considered the greatest overall player in Clemson history. His 7,588 all-purpose yards is the most in ACC history and is second best in the NCAA. He rushed for 3,547 yards in his Clemson career, while also receiving 1,420 more yards. He also had 569 punt return yards and 2,052 kick return yards. Spiller’s 8 touchdown returns on punts and kickoffs is still an NCAA record, while his 4 kickoff returns for touchdowns in one season (2009) is still a single-season best in the ACC and the NCAA. His 7-career kickoff returns for touchdown is still an NCAA record for a career. Spiller was a unanimous First-Team All-American in 2009. He was also the ACC Player of the Year that season as well. He rushed for 1,212 yards and had 2,680 all-purpose yards and scored 21 touchdowns. He finished No. 6 in the Heisman Trophy race, tying Fuller for the best finish in school history at the time. Spiller scored a Clemson record 51 touchdowns in his career. His No. 28 was retired. He was a first-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Sammy Watkins, WR, 2011-’13: Watkins became Clemson’s first three-time First-Team All-American during his career. He also finished as the record holder in just about every receiving category there is. He holds the Clemson records for a game, single-season and career in just about every category. Watkins set the freshman record and single-season mark for receiving yards (1,219), catches (82) and touchdowns (12) in 2011. He then broke Deandre Hopkins’ 2012 marks with 101 catches for 1,464 yards in 2013, while scoring 12 more touchdowns. His 27 career-touchdown receptions tied Hopkins for the most in a Clemson career, while his 3,391 yards and 240 catches are both career records he owns. Watkins was a first-round selection of the Buffalo Bills in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Deshaun Watson, QB, 2014-’16: In just three years, Watson became the greatest quarterback Clemson had ever seen. He was the ACC Player of the Year in 2015 and finished as a finalist to the Heisman Trophy in 2015 and ’16. He holds several game, season and career records at Clemson. He threw for a record 580 yards against Pittsburgh in 2016. His 588 total yards that afternoon is also a Clemson record. He is the first 2-time All-American quarterback in Clemson history as he took the Tigers to the national championship game in 2015 and 2016, including winning it all in 2016. He was 32-3 as a starting quarterback in his Clemson career, while throwing for 10,163 yards. He also threw 90 touchdowns and ran for another 26. His 4,593 yards in 2016 broke his own passing record of 4,104 yards in 2015. His 41 touchdown passes in 2016 is a Clemson and ACC record, as is his 50 total touchdowns that season. Watson completed 67.4 percent of his passes in his Clemson career, which is the current career record. He was a first-round pick of the Houston Texans in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Video courtesy of the ACC Digital Network