CLEMSON, S.C. — Former Clemson All-American and six-time NFL Pro Bowler Michael Dean Perry was named the recipient of the Brian Dawkins Lifetime Achievement Award at the Clemson’s annual football banquet on Sunday night. Since 2013, Head Coach Dabo Swinney has presented the Brian Dawkins Clemson Lifetime Achievement Award to a former Clemson player who exemplifies excellence in the areas of integrity, scholarship, athletics, service, leadership, commitment, dedication, courage, resilience and spirit.
Recipients must be out of school at least 10 years to qualify. Dawkins, who played 16 years in the NFL and was named to nine Pro Bowls and was a finalist for many public service awards, was the first recipient.
Perry played for Clemson between 1984-87 and recorded a still-school-record 61 career tackles for loss. Twenty-eight of those tackles-for-loss were sacks, still tied for second most in Clemson history on a career basis.
During his senior year, he helped the Tigers to a second-straight ACC Championship and a 10-2 record. He had 24 tackles for loss, including 10 sacks from his defensive tackle position and was a finalist for the Outland Trophy, which is given to the top interior lineman in the nation by the Football Writers Association of America.
Perry was also named the ACC Player of the Year in 1987, one of just three Clemson defensive players to win the award. He was also named the team MVP on defense.
In 1988, Perry was the 50th selection in the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. In just his second year, 1989, he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-Pro selection. He also was named first or second-team All-Pro in 1990, 1991 and 1994.
The native of Aiken, S.C. played 10 seasons in the NFL and finished with 61 career sacks, ironically, the same as his tackle-for-loss total at Clemson. He was named to the Pro Bowl six times (1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1996) during his NFL career, second among former Clemson players, trailing only Dawkins.
Overall, Perry played 148 NFL games, 127 as a starter. His 61 sacks are third among former Clemson players in the NFL and his 13 caused fumbles are fifth. He had 534 solo tackles during his NFL career.
At the conclusion of his career, Perry was named to the Clemson Centennial team in 2000, and was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame the same year. He was also named to the All-Decade team for the 1990s by Pro Football Reference. In 2005, Perry was named to the state of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, and in 2016 was inducted into the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame.
Perry and his wife, who live in Charlotte, operate A1 Transportation Company, which specializes in wheelchair transportation.
Brian Dawkins Award Recipients
In addition to Perry’s selection for this honor, Clemson’s list of awards presented at the team’s annual awards banquet on Sunday evening is included below:
Solid Rock AwardMost solid, consistent and dependable player at each positionQB Trevor LawrenceRB Travis EtienneWR Tee HigginsWR Justyn RossTE JC ChalkOL John SimpsonOL Tremayne Anchrum
Hustle AwardConsistent effort and served as an inspiration to teammatesWR Diondre OvertonOL Gage CervenkaOL Sean Pollard
12th Man AwardOL Matt BockhorstRB Lyn-J DixonWR Diondre Overton
Iron Man AwardDependable player with resilient persistence and leadershipOL Tremayne Anchrum
Most Improved Offensive Player of the YearOL Jackson CarmanTE Luke Price
Rookie of the YearOL Jordan McFaddenWR Joseph Ngata
Defensive Scout Team Player of the YearS Elijah TurnerDE Greg WilliamsLB Landon Holden
Offensive Special Teams Player of the YearWR Amari RodgersOL Gage Cervenka
Tiger Pride Award (MVP)RB Travis EtienneWR Tee HigginsQB Trevor Lawrence
Future Impact PlayersWR Frank Ladson Jr.TE Davis AllenRB Chez MellusiOL Will PutnamWR Brannon Spector
Paw AwardMost blue collar/unselfish playerOL Sean PollardWR Amari RodgersQB Chase BriceWR Diondre Overton
Most Improved Special Teams Player of the YearP Will SpiersLB Baylon Spector
Specialist of the YearLS Patrick Phibbs
Solid Rock AwardMost solid, consistent and dependable player at each positionCB A.J. TerrellS Tanner MuseS K’Von WallaceDT Tyler DavisDE Justin FosterLB James SkalskiLB Isaiah Simmons
Hustle AwardConsistent effort and served as an inspiration to teammatesDE Logan RudolphS Tanner Muse
12th Man AwardS Nolan Turner
Iron Man AwardDependable player with resilient persistence and leadershipCB A.J. TerrellS Tanner MuseLB James Skalski
Most Improved Defensive Player of the YearCB Derion KendrickS K’Von WallaceLB Chad Smith
Rookie of the YearDT Tyler DavisCB Derion Kendrick
Offensive Scout Team Player of the YearOL Hunter RayburnWR Max MayQB Patrick McClure
Defensive Special Teams Player of the YearS Nolan TurnerLB Isaiah SimmonsLB James Skalski
Tiger Pride Award (MVP)LB Isaiah SimmonsCB A.J. TerrellS Tanner Muse
Future Impact PlayersCB Sheridan JonesS Lannden ZandersLB Jake VenablesDE K.J. HenryDT Ruke Orhorhoro
Paw AwardMost blue collar/unselfish playerLB Chad SmithDE Logan RudolphS Denzel Johnson
NSCA Strength and Conditioning All-AmericansS Tanner MuseS K’Von WallaceOL John SimpsonOL Tremayne Anchrum
Dedication AwardOL Gage CervenkaLB Landon HoldenWR Amari RodgersLB James Skalski
All-In Accountability Challenge Champion CaptainsOL Tremayne AnchrumWR Diondre Overton
All-In Accountability Challenge Champion Team MembersDT Tyler DavisOL Will EdwardsWR Hamp GreeneWR Tee HigginsRB Ty LucasOL Jordan McFaddenWR Joseph NgataWR Amari RodgersWR Justyn RossWR Will SwinneyS Ray Thornton IIIS Elijah TurnerDE Greg Williams
Most Inspirational Player of YearWR Amari Rodgers
GPA AwardsOverall: WR Max MaySenior: S Elijah TurnerJunior: WR Will SwinneySophomore: WR Will BrownRedshirt Freshman: WR Drew SwinneyFreshman: LB David Cote
True Tigers of the YearCB Derion KendrickRB Ty LucasQB Ben BatsonLB Baylon Spector
Spiritual Leadership AwardWR Will Swinney
Tim Bourret AwardBest represents himself, his teammates and Clemson University in the mediaQB Trevor Lawrence
P.A.W. Journey Professional of the YearWR Carter Groomes
P.A.W. Journey Service Above Self AwardOL Sean Pollard
P.A.W. Journey P.A.T. Man of the YearOL Tremayne Anchrum
Team CaptainsOL Tremayne AnchrumOL John SimpsonOL Gage CervenkaWR Diondre OvertonS K’Von WallaceS Tanner MuseLB Isaiah Simmons