Jan. 23, 2000
CLEMSON, S.C. — Two players and one coach with ties to Clemson will participate in Super Bowl XXXIV on January 30 in the Georgia Dome. When the St. Louis Rams take to the field against the Tennessee Titans, former Tigers Tony Horne and Dexter McCleon will be in action for the Rams.
Across the side of the field, Tennessee Titans offensive line coach Jim Washburn will be plotting for ways to stop Horne and McCleon. Washburn is the father of current Clemson offensive lineman Brady Washburn. Brady played for the Tigers in the Georgia Dome a month earlier against Mississippi State in the Peach Bowl.
Clemson has had a history of players being contributors to Super Bowl Championship teams. Dating to 1969 when former Tiger Bill Mathis helped Joe Namath and the New York Jets to the Super Bowl title, 17 former Clemson Tigers have been on Super Bowl champions a total of 25 times. That includes each of the last three seasons. Trevor Pryce was a member of the Denver Broncos championship teams of 1997 and 1998, and Wayne Simmons was a starter on the Packers championship team from the 1996 season.
Horne and McCleon played together at Clemson for the 1994-96 seasons. Clemson played in bowl games in 1995 and 1996 with both players in the starting lineup. McCleon was a letterwinner for the Tigers from 1993-96. He was a quarterback and defensive back in 1993, then played defensive back from 1994-96. He made second-team All-ACC as a senior (1996) and was a second round pick of the Rams after that season.
This season, McCleon had 45 tackles in the regular season, including 41 solos in starting every game for the Rams. he was seventh on the team in tackles and third in interceptions with 4-17. He added one in the playoffs against Minnesota.
Horne letter for the Tigers from 1994-97. He set a Clemson record for receptions in 1997 with 70, a mark that was broken this year by Rod Gardner (80). Horne was one of 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award in 1997. He was first-team All-ACC kickoff returner in 1997 and second team wide receiver. He also set the Clemson single season mark for all-purpose running yards with 1782 in 1997, a mark that still stands.
Horne led the NFL in kickoff return average this year and had a league best three kickoff returns for touchdown, two in the regular season and one in the playoffs against Minnesota. He had 30 kickoff returns for 892 yards in the regular season, a 29.7 average. He was named second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press.
Clemson has one other tie to the Super Bowl. The head statistician for the game will be Dr. Harold Vigodsky. Vigodsky has been a statistician for Clemson football and basketball games for 25 years. He is also the head statistician for the Carolina Panthers of the NFL. One of his assistants on the stat crew will be Clemson graduate and former SID office student Sanford Rogers.
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