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Nov 20, 2023

Putnam, Wiggins Earn ACC Weekly Honors

CLEMSON, S.C. – The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today that Clemson center Will Putnam (Offensive Lineman of the Week) and cornerback Nate Wiggins (Defensive Back of the Week) have both earned ACC Player of the Week honors in their respective categories for their performances in Clemson’s 31-20 defeat of No. 20 North Carolina at Memorial Stadium last Saturday.

The selections of Putnam and Wiggins pulled Clemson’s total number of ACC weekly honors this season to 11. In total, Clemson has garnered 576 ACC weekly honors since 1968.

Putnam’s ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week award is his second of the season and the fourth of his career. He became the eighth player in Clemson history to earn at least four career ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week awards, joining Mitch Hyatt (seven), Stacy Long (five), Thomas Austin (five), Jim Bundren (four), Kyle Young (four), Ken Peeples (four) and Jordan McFadden (four).

Against North Carolina, Putnam graded out at 98 percent according to Clemson’s coaching staff and anchored an offensive line that allowed zero sacks for the third time this season. He helped Clemson rush for 247 yards, its fifth 200-yard rushing game of the season, and helped Clemson reach 200 yards both rushing and passing for the fourth time this season. He and his fellow linemen helped power Will Shipley to a season-high 179 yards from scrimmage, and in the process, he passed Dalton Freeman (3,361 from 2009-12) for the second-most career snaps from scrimmage in Clemson history (3,405).

Wiggins’ selection is the first of his career and the first by a Clemson defensive back since Mario Goodrich’s performance against Pitt in 2020. Against the Tar Heels, Wiggins recorded eight tackles, a touchdown-saving forced fumble, a pass breakup and a game-sealing interception. The interception was the third of his career but his second all-time against North Carolina, joining his pick in last year’s ACC Championship Game. Both interceptions against North Carolina have come off of presumptive future first-round pick Drake Maye, as Wiggins now accounts for two of Maye’s 14 career interceptions.

Wiggins recorded his forced fumble in unbelievable fashion, reaching 22.1 mph in chasing down the ACC’s leading rusher from behind to force the fumble at the goal line. Said Head Coach Dabo Swinney of the forced fumble, “That’s one of the greatest football plays I’ve ever seen. I mean, it was special to watch… The only thing that I’ve seen live like that was when I was playing in the Sugar Bowl in the National Championship in ’93 when I literally saw George Teague run and take the ball and turn around and go the other way.”