Note: The following appears in the Syracuse gameday football program.
One of the more interesting aspects of the program over the years is the number of oddities in terms of names. From Bush and Gore to “The Jackson Three,” this article takes a look at some of the unique names of former Tigers.
Three Clemson lettermen had famous names. The 1984 roster had reserve linebacker Richard Burton, and the 1985-89 teams featured a wide receiver named Gary Cooper, who is fourth in Tiger history in yards per reception. Neither were related to the famous actors who shared the name. A third name has become a symbol of the Black Lives Matter movement. In 1940, in his first game and first offensive play as head coach, Frank Howard called a reverse running play that went for a touchdown. The player who scored on the reverse was George Floyd.
The 1986 team was a nightmare for the media (and the sports information director), because this team had three players with the same first name, and all three spelled that first name differently. Furthermore, all three not only started, but were star players. Terrence Flagler was a first-team All-America running back that year, leading the team with 1,258 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Terrance Roulhac was the second-leading receiver in 1986 and was a First-Team All-ACC selection in 1984. Terence Mack was the second-leading tackler as a starting defensive end with 71 stops.
THE JACKSON THREE
The 1967 team, who like the 1986 team, won the ACC championship. It had three players with virtually the same name, Jack Jackson. There was Jack Jackson, Jackie Lee Jackson and Jacky Jackson. Jackie Lee and Jacky actually went by Jacky Jackson, but Sports Information Director Bob Bradley convinced Jackie Lee to use his middle name to distinguish between at least two of them.
THREE FIRST-ROUND SIMMONS
Clemson has had seven lettermen with the last name “Simmons” over the years, and three of them have been first-round draft picks, in fact top-15 selections. Two of the three were taken with the No. 15 overall pick, Wayne Simmons (Packers, 1993) and Anthony Simmons (Seahawks, 1998). Isaiah Simmons, a unanimous All-American on Clemson’s 2019 team, was the No. 8 overall selection of the 2020 NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals.
BUSH & GORE
In 2000, the presidential election was between George W. Bush and Al Gore. That fall, Clemson was the only school in the nation that had players named Bush and Gore. That attracted a lot of national media attention, especially when the results of the vote “went into overtime.” The roster included junior defensive tackle Jovon Bush and walk-on placekicker Buddy Gore. In doing interviews on the unique situation, it was revealed that Bush supported Gore, and Gore supported Bush.
HAWKINS OR WRIGHT?
To my knowledge, only one Tiger has changed his last name during his playing career at Clemson. Corico Wright came to Clemson as Corico Hawkins in 2009. He lettered as Hawkins in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons. Then, he legally changed his last name to Wright for his senior year (2012). Wright was third on the 2010 and 2011 teams in tackles while going by the name “Hawkins.” In the Clemson recordbook, all references to him are as Wright, so that future historians realize it is the same person. Wright is now the defensive backs coach at Furman.
Bubba Brown, Jaron Brown, Lester Brown, Ricky Gray, T.J. Green, Nealon Greene, Harvey White, Raymond White.
Dymon Adams, Kourtnei Brown, Mark Buchholz, Jermyn Chester, Vince Ciurciu, Frank DeLuliis, Jim Lynah, Taisun Phommachanh, D.J. Uiagalelei.
Boo Armstrong, Stumpy Banks, Stick Coles, Footsie Davis, Beef DeCosta, Pug Douthit, Little Mutt Gee, Mutt Gee, Streak Lawton, Booty Payne, Refrigerator Perry, Footsie Walker.
BEST PURE FOOTBALL NAMES
If I had to pick some of my favorite names that scream the sport of football, I would select the following: Plowboy Austin, Warhorse Bates, Ben Boulware, Bully Cagle, Force Chamberlain, Grady Jarrett and Goat McMillan.
LEAST-USED LETTERS TO BEGIN LAST NAME
There have been four lettermen with a last name starting with “U” (Willie Underwood, Regan Upshaw, Lewis Usher, George Usry) and four starting with “Q” (Jimmy Quarles, Sonny Quesenbury, Rodney Quick, Dewey Quinn).
MOST-USED LAST NAME
There have been 30 lettermen named “Williams” and 28 named “Smith.”
MOST UNUSUAL NAME
States Right G. Finley (1916,17).
ONLY HYPHENATED FIRST NAME
ONLY LAST NAME WITH A SPACE
Eric Mac Lain, Ryan Mac Lain, Sean Mac Lain.