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Sep 14, 2023

Clemson Athletics’ 2023 Major Award Winners

By: Tim Bourret

Note: The following appears in the Florida Atlantic football gameday program.

Softball All-American Valerie Cagle, All-ACC basketball player Hunter Tyson and All-ACC defensive tackle Bryan Bresee were named the winners of the major Clemson athletic department awards for the 2022-23 academic year.

Cagle was the recipient of the Frank Howard Award, given for bringing honor to Clemson athletics. Tyson was named IPTAY Athlete-of-the-Year, the honor presented to Clemson’s top all-around student-athlete. Bresee won the Brandon Streeter Award, presented to a student-athlete who overcame hardship to return to the field with excellence.

Cagle won the Frank Howard Award for the second time in her career, as she also won the honor as a freshman in 2020-21. She joined track & field athletes Travis Padgett (2007,08) and Shawn Crawford (1998,00) as the only two-time recipients of the award. The award dates to the 1969-70 academic year, when football player Charlie Waters was the recipient.

Few Tiger student-athletes in history have won more awards than what Cagle took home in 2022-23. She was named national player-of-the-year by D1Softball and USA Softball. She was named ACC Player-of-the-Year and ACC Scholar Athlete-of-the-Year. Additionally, Cagle was named an Easton/NFCA All-America Scholar and winner of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award among pitchers.

The native of Yorktown, Va. hit .469 with 19 home runs and 83 hits, both most in school history. In the circle, she posted a 25-8 record, including eight shutouts, with a 1.56 ERA and 188 strikeouts in 193.0 innings pitched. She was the leader of Clemson’s team that reached a super regional, where the Tigers were eventually eliminated by national champion Oklahoma.

Tyson was a First-Team All-ACC selection on the hardwood and in the classroom. He won the Skip Prosser Award, which is presented to the top student-athlete in the ACC among men’s basketball players. Additionally, he was named a second-team Academic All-American by College Sports Communicators Association.

Tyson averaged 15.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 2022-23, leading Clemson to a 24-11 record, including a school-record 14 wins in ACC competition. He shot 48 percent from the field, including 41 percent on three-point attempts, and 84 percent from the free-throw line. He collected 16 double-doubles, most by a Tiger in 30 years. Tyson was also second in the nation in defensive rebounds per game (8.3).

The North Carolina native was also a finalist for the 2023 Karl Malone Power Forward-of-the-Year Award and was named to the Oscar Robertson Watch List. In June, he was chosen as the No. 37 overall pick of the NBA draft by the Denver Nuggets, the highest selection by a Tiger in nine years.

Bresee battled through personal tragedy and illness throughout the 2022 campaign. His youngest sister, Ella, was hospitalized with a setback in her battle with medulloblastoma the day before Clemson’s home opener against Furman, a game in which she was set to be publicly honored. She died the following week on Sept. 15 following her battle with brain cancer.

Bresee returned in 2022 following surgeries to his knee and both shoulders in 2021. The former injury cost him all but four games of his sophomore season. Despite being limited to 10 games and seven starts in 2022, he earned Second-Team All-ACC honors and was a Lott IMPACT Trophy quarterfinalist.

Later in the year, he was hospitalized with a significant kidney infection while his family’s story was being featured on ESPN’s College GameDay in Clemson in advance of the Tigers’ win over NC State. He battled the kidney infection, strep throat and other illnesses that led to him gaining and losing 45 pounds of water weight in a two-month span.

Bresee was selected by the New Orleans Saints with the No. 29 overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft, becoming the highest Tiger selected by the Saints in history.