When the Cincinnati Bengals selected Tee Higgins with the 33rd overall pick in last month’s NFL Draft, he became the 10th Clemson wide receiver taken in the draft since 2010. No position at Clemson in the last decade has produced more draft picks.
Because of the number of wide receivers Clemson has produced for the NFL, it has become known as Wide Receiver U, a brand the Tigers are extremely proud of.
Over the years, Clemson has had six wide receivers taken in the first round of the NFL Draft – Jerry Butler (1979), Perry Tuttle (1982), Rod Gardner (2001), Deandre Hopkins (2013), Sammy Watkins (2014) and Mike Williams (2017). Butler (No. 5), Watkins (No. 4) and Williams (No. 7) were top 10 picks.
Hopkins, who the Houston Texans picked with the 27th overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, has become one the NFL’s best wide receivers. He has already earned four All-Pro honors and has been a Pro Bowl selection four times as well.
This past season, Watkins became just the third Clemson receiver to win a Super Bowl, joining Dwight Clark and Tony Horne. Clark won two Super Bowl Championships with the San Francisco 49ers in 1981 and 1984.
Clark was also a two-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection and in 1984 was the NFC Player of the Year. Butler was the 1979 NFL Rookie of the Year and was named to the Pro Bowl and earned an All-Pro selection in 1980.
Watkins game-winning catch-and-run set up what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown for Kansas City in Super Bowl LIV.
In all, Clemson has had eight former wide receivers earn All-American honors, while 22 have earned First-Team All-ACC honors.
Butler, who played at Clemson from 1975-’78, was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team in 2003.
Clemson Wide Receivers By the Numbers:
4: Represents Sammy Watkins draft selection in the 2014 NFL, tied for the highest pick in Clemson history.
9: Is the number of wide receivers Clemson has had selected in the NFL Draft since 2013, which is the most by any school in the country.
11: Number of ACC receiving yardage champions Clemson has produced, that includes Deandre Hopkins in 2012 and Sammy Watkins in 2013.
34: The number of receiving touchdowns produced by former Clemson receivers in the 2018 NFL season. The most produced by any college in the NFL that year.
1,500: Deandre Hopkins has produced 1,500 yards twice already in his NFL career, the most yards in one season by any former Clemson receiver. He had 1,521 in 2015 and 1,572 yards in 2018.
8,602: Deandre Hopkins’ career yards in his seven years in the NFL. Five times Hopkins has totaled at least 1,100 yards in a season.
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