May 11, 2001
Clemson, SC – Record setting football players Rod Gardner and Kyle Young were among seven All-Americans who received diploma’s from Clemson University on Friday. Eight other All-ACC athletes were among the 41 Clemson student-athletes who received their degrees over the two sessions of graduation exercises held at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Gardner closed a memorable month of activities by receiving his diploma in the afternoon session. The native of Jacksonville, FL who earned his degree in Industrial Management, was the 15th selection of the first round of the NFL draft by the Washington Redskins in April. He concluded his Clemson career as the school’s career leader in total receptions (166).
Young graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in secondary education. Clemson’s starting center was a second-team All-American on the field according to Football News and a first-team Academic All-American last year. It was the second consecutive year he has been named a first-team Academic All-American. Young will return to Clemson for his final year of eligibility in 2001 as a graduate student.
Young will be one of three starting offensive linemen for Clemson next year who will play as graduate students. Starting offensive guard T.J. Watkins received his diploma in marketing on Friday, while starting guard Will Merritt had received his undergraduate degree in December of 2000.
Matt Bailey was a third football player with a year of eligibility remaining to receive a degree on Friday. Bailey earned his degree in speech & communication and will return to the Tigers in 2001 as a starting wide receiver. Woodrow Dantzler, Nick Eason and Charles Hafley are all on track to receive their degrees in August, which will give the 2001 Tigers a record seven starting players who will play as graduate students. Overall, 10 Clemson football players graduated on Friday. The list included 2000 seniors Terry Bryant, Jason Holloman, and Chad Speck.
In addition to Gardner and Young, five other Clemson student-athletes who were All-Americans at one time in their Clemson career, received degrees on Friday. The list includes ACC men’s golf champion John Engler, who was one of three members of Larry Penley’s third-ranked golf team to earn degrees on Friday. Men’s soccer All-American Mark Lisi, women’s track All-Americans Shekera Weston and Michelle Burgher, and men’s track All-American Charles Allen were four more All-Americans who earned degrees on Friday.
Lisi and Gardner have something in common. Lisi was a number-four selection of the MSL draft by DC United and has already started his professional career with that Washington, DC based team. He scored the winning goal for DC United in each of his first two professional games.
Eight other Clemson athletes who were All-ACC selections during their careers received degrees on Friday. That list includes Skye Frost (Volleyball), Carmina Giraldo (Women’s Tennis), Tony Lloyd (Men’s Track), Charli Reasons (Women’s Swimming), Will Rogers (Men’s Swimming), Lashonda Cutchin (Women’s Track), Lauren Henne (Rowing) and Benjamin Hess (Men’s Track).
March 14, 2019