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Tigers in the NFL Update

Tigers in the NFL Update

By Sean Butler // Athletic Communications


Dwayne Allen, TE• In five starts this season for the Indianapolis Colts (two missed due to injury), Allen has eight receptions for 71 yards and one touchdown.• In 2014, Allen and Coby Fleener became the first tight end duo on the same team to each record eight touchdowns in a single season in NFL history.• Honored as Clemson’s first recipient of the Mackey Award, given to the nation’s best tight end, during his college career, when he set the Clemson tight end career record for touchdown receptions (12) and touchdowns by a tight end in a season (8) in 2011.

Stephone Anthony, LB• In his first seven games as a rookie, Anthony has made an immediate impact. In seven starts, Anthony leads the New Orleans Saints in tackles with 45 and is in the top 35 in tackles in the NFL.• Signed to a four-year contract after he was selected in the first round (No. 31 overall) of the 2015 NFL draft.• Was a First-Team All-ACC pick as a senior, leading Clemson with 90 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one interception, four passes defended and two caused fumbles.

Isaiah Battle, OT• Acquired by the St. Louis Rams in exchange for its fifth-round pick in 2016. Out of seven eligible players in this year’s supplemental draft, he was the only player selected and is currently on the practice squad.• Played 27 games over three years during his college career, starting 11 in 2014. He leaves the program as eighth in school history in snaps played by an offensive tackle.

Tavaris Barnes, DE• Agreed to terms with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent on a three-year contract.  Has played in six games so far this season and has two tackles.• Invited to NFLPA Collegiate Bowl following his senior season.• Had 64 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, 14 quarterback pressures, two passes defensed, one forced fumble, and two fumbles recoveries, including one for a touchdown, in 47 games with four starts in his career at Clemson.

Vic Beasley, DE• Selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round (eighth overall) in the 2015 Draft. Through the first seven games of his rookie campaign, Beasley has notched 17 total tackles, two sacks, one pass defensed, one forced fumble, and has established himself as an everyday edge rusher. His two sacks are tied for first amongst Falcons pass rushers.• As a senior in 2014, he was one of three finalists for the Bednarik Award, one of four finalists for the Lombardi Trophy, and one of six finalists for the Hendricks Award. He was a first-team All-American by AFCA, AP, College Sports Madness, and Walter Camp. He was also voted ACC defensive player of the year and first team all-ACC.• Appeared in 48 games for Clemson, starting 28 of those contests. He is the all-time sack leader for Clemson with 33 career sacks, fourth in tackles for loss with 52.5, and seventh in forced fumbles with seven.

Andre Branch, DE• The fourth-year defensive end has played in 38 games in his pro career, with three starts, registering 75 total tackles, 10 sacks, 20 quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.• First player from Clemson drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in franchise history after being taken in the second round (No. 38 overall) in the 2012 draft and only the fourth defensive end selected by the Jaguars in the first two rounds in franchise history.• Finished collegiate career with 17.5 sacks and 33.5 tackles for loss, garnering him an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl.

Bashaud Breeland, CB• In his second season with the Washington Redskins, Breeland has 34 combined tackles, eight passes defensed, two interceptions, and two fumble recoveries in six games played.• In a Week 6 game against the New York Jets, Breeland became the first player in at least 15 years to have an interception and two fumble recoveries in a half for Washington. Also, his 15 starts in his rookie campaign were the third-most by a cornerback in Redskins history, trailing future and current NFL Hall of Famers Champ Bailey and Darrell Green.• Compiled 159 tackles (8.5 for loss), three sacks, six interceptions, 20 pass breakups, and two forced fumbles in 37 games (24 starts).

Jaron Brown, WR• Appeared in seven games so far this year, Brown has five receptions for 51 yards and one touchdown.• Joined the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in April of 2013 and has played in all 39 games in his first three seasons, totaling 38 receptions for 420 yards and four touchdowns.• Finished his Clemson career with 87 receptions for 1,186 yards and eight TDs in 50 games played (32 starts). Two-time academic All-ACC selection and four-time ACC academic honor roll member.

Kourtnei Brown, DE• Acquired as a free agent and signed to a futures contract in 2014 by the Houston Texans after stints with the 49ers, Redskins, Bills, Lions, and Rams.• Recorded 75 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, three sacks, one interception for 20 yards, 13 quarterback pressures, three pass breakups, and two recovered fumbles in 869 snaps over 49 games (one start) in his career.• Protégé of former Clemson All-ACC defensive tackle Brenston Buckner, who was the defensive coordinator at his high school.

Martavis Bryant, WR• In two games played so far this year, one started, has nine receptions for 182 yards and three touchdowns. His 88-yard catch and run for a score against Arizona in Week 6 is the longest touchdown reception in the NFL this season to date and eighth-longest pass play in Steelers history.• Bryant has 10 receiving touchdowns in his first 11 regular-season games (only four players in NFL history had more touchdowns in their first 11 games), is the second player in NFL history with two touchdowns of at least 88 yards in each of his first two NFL seasons, and became the 10th player in Steelers history to have 10 or more touchdown receptions in his first two seasons.• Appeared in a total of 37 contests, starting 13 games at Clemson. Caught 61 passes for 1,354 yards with 13 touchdowns, adding 338 yards on 17 kickoff returns and 17 yards rushing. His average of 22.20 yards per reception topped the previous NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and ACC record of 21.96 yards by Herman Moore of Virginia.

Crezdon Butler, CB• Six-year NFL veteran who has seen time with Pittsburgh, Arizona, Washington, Buffalo, San Diego, Tampa Bay, Seattle, and Detroit. Signed a futures contract with Detroit in January of 2015.  Currently with the Seattle Seahawks.• A four-year contributor for the Clemson Tigers, Butler played in 53 games during his career and finished with 183 tackles, 11 interceptions, and 21 passes defensed. Finished tied for second in school history with 243 career interception return yards.• Earned All-ACC Honorable Mention as a senior in 2009.

Chandler Catanzaro, PK• In his second season with the Arizona Cardinals, Catanzaro is 11-13 in field goal attempts, with a long of 43 yards and is 26-28 in extra point attempts.• Originally signed by the Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2014, Catanzaro went on to win the starting job in training camp and has since established himself in Arizona’s record books after making his first 17 consecutive field goal attempts in ’14, an NFL record for rookie to begin their career and tying Kai Forbath for the NFL record to begin a career. Also, demolished the franchise rookie record for points (73) after he tallied 114 in ’14.• Left Clemson as the school’s all-time leading scorer and second in ACC history with 404 points in 53 games after beginning his career as a walk-on. Was a three-time All-ACC specialist and two-time semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award (2011-12).

Chris Clemons, S• Saw action in five games this season with the Arizona Cardinals, totaling 3 tackles. In 77 career games, Clemons had 281 combined tackles, 1.5 sacks two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, four interceptions, and 17 passes defensed.• Drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL draft.• The four-year letterman and three-year starter at Clemson finished his college career with 323 tackles, five interceptions, 20 passes defensed and 20 special teams tackles.

Kavell Conner, LB• In seven games played, one start, the former seventh-round pick by the Colts, Conner, has notched eight combined tackles for the San Diego Chargers this year. For his NFL career, he has 314 combined tackles, two sacks, eight passes defensed, and three forced fumbles.• In 2014, a team captain, Conner played in all 16 games, starting seven, and tied for fourth on the defense and second among linebackers with 68 tackles. He was also a beast on special teams, tying for third on the squad with 16 tackles.• Conner was Clemson’s leading tackler as a junior and senior, finishing his career with 263 tackles , 14 tackles for loss, three sacks and one interception in 52 career games (27 starts).

Corey Crawford, DE• An undrafted free agent, Crawford was assigned to the Washington Redskins’ practice squad.• Played at Clemson from 2011-14, appearing in 51 games with 35 starts and posting 155 tackles (25.5 for loss), six sacks, one interception, eight pass break ups, two forced fumbles, and two fumbles recovered in his career.• Was an Honorable Mention All-ACC selection as a junior in 2013, contributing 52 tackles (10.5 for loss), three sacks, one interception, and two forced fumbles in 13 games with 12 starts.

Andre Ellington, RB• In 2015 for the Arizona Cardinals, Ellington has racked up 160 rushing yards on 21 attempts, two touchdowns, and six receptions for 82 yards in four games played (two started).• With 1,023 yards from scrimmage as a rookie in 2013 and 1,055 yards in 2014, joined Ottis Anderson (1979-80) as the only players in franchise history to record 1,000+ yards from scrimmage in each of their first two NFL seasons. Ellington is also the only active player in the NFL with both a rushing and receiving TD of 80+ yards in their career.  He is one of just six players in NFL history with an 80+ yard TD run and 80+ yard receiving TD in their first two NFL seasons.• Started 33 of the 49 games he appeared in for Clemson, rushing 621 times for 3,436 yards and 33 touchdowns … also added 59 receptions for 505 yards and two TDs … his 3,436 rushing yards rank fourth in school history while his 33 rushing TDs rank third in team annals … one of just four players in school history to rush for 1,000 yards twice in their career.

Marcus Gilchrist, S• The veteran safety that joined the New York Jets in the 2015 offseason after signing as an unrestricted free agent has registered 33 combined tackles, two interceptions, and five passes defensed for the Jets this season.• Of his five career interceptions, two have come on the opponents’ final possession, including one with 1:03 remaining in the fourth quarter that preserved a 27-24 victory vs. SL (11/23/14) in his time with the San Diego Chargers.• Was named honorable mention All-ACC as senior and received the team’s strength training award prior to final year at Clemson. Finished collegiate career with 53 games played, tying a school-record, 211 tackles, three forced fumbles, one interception, 19 passes defensed, five tackles for loss and one sack. Averaged 25.1 yards on kickoff returns and 9.7 yards on punt returns and made starts at corner as senior and free safety as junior.

Malliciah Goodman, DE• Saw action as a reserve defensive lineman against the Philadephia Eagles, logging his only two tackles on the year for the Atlanta Falcons, and got on the field against the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans this season.• Selected as the first of two fourth-round (127th overall) draft choices by Atlanta in 2013. In his best game of his career for the Falcons, he recorded a forced fumble (his second that season) along with one pass deflection, a hit on the quarterback, and two solo tackles at Tampa Bay in 2014.• Started 28 of 54 career games at Clemson, including each of his final 27 appearances, recording 127 tackles (70 solo) with 23 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, three passes defensed and one fumble recovery. His eight forced fumbles fell two shy of the Tigers record of 10 shared by Jeff Davis (1978-81) and Ed McDaniel (1988-91). Named Clemson’s Defensive Player-of-the-Game in its bowl win over Louisiana State when Goodman recorded three sacks in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Chris Hairston, OT• Was traded by the Seattle Seahawks as a 2011 fourth-round pick (122nd overall) with the 2012 fifth-round pick (147th overall, Tank Carder) to the Buffalo Bills for Marshawn Lynch. Agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the San Diego Chargers in April of 2015 after his time in Buffalo.• A former Buffalo Bill, Hairston was familiar to the Chargers’ coaching staff. Offensive Line Coach Joe D’Alessandris held the same role with the Bills when they drafted Hairston in the fourth round in 2011. All of Hairston’s career starts came while playing under D’Alessandris.• First-team All-ACC as senior for Clemson. Started 36 of 47 games, including 22 straight to close out career.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR• Selected by the Texans 27th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft. Since, he has registered 186 receptions for 2,788 yards with 13 touchdowns, 11 of which have come in 2014 and 2015. He is the 25th player to surpass 2,000 yards receiving in his first two seasons. He reached 2,000 career yards receiving in his 31st game, making him the second youngest player (22 years, 198 days) in NFL history to reach 2,000 yards.• Was leading the NFL in reception yards after the seventh game of the season.• He is only the second player in franchise history to eclipse 1,000 yards in a single season (2014). Andre Johnson did it in 2004,06,08-10,12,13.• In 39 games and 32 starts at Clemson, Hopkins recorded 206 receptions for a school-record 3,020 yards to complement his 27 touchdowns. He is the only Clemson student-athlete to have multiple 100-yard receiving efforts in bowl games. He finished with 32 receptions for 403 yards and three touchdowns in three postseason appearances.

Adam Humphries, WR• Signed with the Buccaneers as a rookie free agent in 2015.• Played in 53 games at Clemson with 27 starts, 127 receptions for 1,097 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 10 carries for 24 yards and one touchdown, 69 punt return yards for 476 yards and a touchdown.• Finished his collegiate career tied for the fourth-most games played in school history.

Grady Jarrett, DT• Selected in the fifth round (137th overall) of the 2015 NFL draft.• In seven games played this season to date, Jarrett has totaled five tackles in seven contests.• Jarrett finished his collegiate career at Clemson with 37 starts in 48 games played and tallied 207 tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

Jarvis Jenkins, DE• In the midst of his first season with the Bears and fifth season in the NFL. In six games to date, he has 18 tackles with 3.5 sacks.• Drafted by the Washington Redskins in the second round (41st overall) of the 2011 NFL draft and signed a four-year deal. Over the course of his four seasons in Washington he tallied 76 career tackles with two sacks, six tackles for loss and eight quarterback hits. He also had five tackles and a fumble recovery in his lone postseason contest.• Played in 49 games with 38 starts over the course of four years at Clemson. As a Tiger he recorded 166 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 31 quarterback pressures and a school-record four blocked kicks. He was a first-team All-ACC honoree as a senior.

Byron Maxwell, CB• Signed a six-year deal with the Eagles this past offseason. To date, he has registered 36 tackles, a forced fumble, a recovered fumble and an interception in seven games.• Originally selected in the sixth round (173rd overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He climbed the depth charts throughout his time and became the starting cornerback alongside Richard Sherman in Super Bowls XLVIII and XLIX.• Assisted Clemson to four bowl games and its first Atlantic Division Championship in 2009. He finished his four-year career (2007-10) with 24 passes defended and four interceptions.

Antoine McClain, OG• Originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens as a rookie free agent in 2012 and signed with the Cardinals this offseason.• Has yet to play in a game in two NFL seasons.• McClain had 183 knockdowns in 2,438 snaps over 54 games (41 starts) in his career. He’s second in school history in games played and he started every game from the start of 2009 (41 consecutive games), the only Tiger who can make that claim.

Jonathan Meeks, S• Drafted in the fifth-round (143rd overall) by the Bills in the 2013 NFL draft.• Played in eight games his rookie season on special teams and missed 2014 due to injury.• In 50 games and 24 starts at Clemson, Meeks registered 157 tackles, two for a loss, seven interceptions for 192 yards, four quarterback pressures, 13 pass breakups and two recovered fumbles.

Bradley Pinion, P• Selected by the 49ers in the fifth round (165th overall) of the 2015 NFL draft.• Has 35 punts, including 11 inside the 20-yard line with a long of 59 yards and just one touchback in his rookie season.• At Clemson, Pinion played in 34 games and registered 140 punts for 5,754 yards with 55 of his punts inside the 20 and just 2 touchbacks. He averaged 41.1 yards a punt, and totaled a 39.2 net average.

Coty Sensabaugh, CB• Has served as the Titans’ nickel defensive back the last three seasons. In 2014 he registered a career best six starts and 47 tackles.• Selected by the Titans in the fourth round (115th overall) of the 2012 NFL draft.• After sitting out the first game of his redshirt freshman season, Sensabaugh appeared in 52 of Clemson’s next 53 games and started in all 14 games as a senior. He totaled 87 tackles, two tackles for loss, four interceptions, two quarterback pressures and 18 passes defended in his four seasons.

Tyler Shatley, OG• Signed by Jacksonville as an undrafted rookie in 2014.• Was one of three undrafted rookies to make the opening day roster and played in one game.• Began his career at Clemson as a fullback before moving to the defensive line and then offensive line in the spring of 2012. In his senior season he earned third-team All-ACC honors and finished his career with 25 games on offense with 60 knockdowns on 1,776 snaps.

C.J. Spiller, RB• Spiller joins the Saints in his sixth NFL season after signing a four-year deal this offseason.   Scored game winner on 80-yard pass reception on first play of overtime in Saints  Sunday Night Football win over Dallas.• Prior to joining New Orleans, Spiller played in 70 games with 36 starts and carried 668 times for 3,321 yards with 12 touchdowns. He also recorded 158 receptions for 1,195 yards with six touchdowns. Spiller returned 25 punts for 302 yards and returned 60 kickoffs for 1,463 yards with two touchdowns.• Spiller set 31 Clemson records and led the ACC in all-purpose yards with 7,588 in his career, finishing second in NCAA Division I history. He’s the first player in conference history with at least 1,000 yards rushing and 500 receiving in the same season (2009). He and former Saints running back Reggie Bush are the only college football players in history with 3,000 yards rushing, 1,500 kickoff return yards, 1,000 receiving yards and 500 punt return yards.

Tony Steward, LB• Has appeared in two games so far in his rookie season with the Buffalo Bills.• Drafted by the Bills in the sixth round (188th overall) of the 2015 NFL draft.• Over the course of four years he appeared in 42 games recording 4.5 sacks, 141 tackles, and 19 special teams tackles while at Clemson.

Brandon Thomas, OT• Drafted by the 49ers in the third round (100th overall) in 2014.• Missed the entire 2014 season with a knee injury.• Played in 49 games for the Tigers. In 2013, he earned First-Team All-ACC honors while starting all 13 games at left tackle. Thomas helped pave the way for Clemson’s offense to total 6,600 yards, which ranked 10th in the nation, and marked the second highest output in a single-season in Clemson’s history.

Brandon Thompson, DT• A fourth-year NFL and Bengals player, Thompson played in 11 games in 2014, missing five games with a knee injury. Earned the starting defensive tackle job in 2013, replacing injured All-Pro Geno Atkins. He contributed in 2013 to the team’s NFL rank of third on defense (305.5 yards allowed per game).• Selected by Cincinnati in third round of 2012 NFL draft (93rd overall).• Thompson played four seasons at Clemson (2008-11). He saw action in 53 games and37 of his 38 starts came in his last three seasons. Thompson finished with 208 total tackles, including 4.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles-for-loss.

Sammy Watkins, WR• Started in all 16 games in his rookie season (2014), catching 65 passes for 982 yards and six touchdowns – all Bills rookie records.  Broke rookie receiving marks that had been set by former Tiger Jerry Butler.• Drafted by the Bills in the first round (4th overall) of the 2014 NFL draft.• Played three seasons at Clemson (2011-13) and finished his career with 240 receptions for 3,391 yards and 27 touchdowns. Set the school record for receptions and receiving yards and tied the school record for receiving touchdowns.

Charlie Whitehurst, QB• Whitehurst’s first season in Tennessee (2014) included five starts and seven games played. He set career highs in every passing category, completing 105 of 185 passes for 1,326 yards with seven touchdowns and a passer rating of 87.4.• Started the 2010 regular-season finale for Seattle and led Seahawks to NFC West-clinching 16-6 win by completing 22 of 36 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown.• At Clemson, Whitehurst amassed 25 career wins for second-most in school history, including eight fourth-quarter comeback wins. His seven wins over top-25 teams tied school record and included three wins against Top-10 teams. He graduated with 46 school records, including career passing yards, completions, touchdowns and 300-yard games.

DeShawn Williams, DT• Signed as a college free agent in 2015 after appearing in 53 games with 17 starts during a four-year career at Clemson.  Has been on Bengals Practice Squad.• Emerged as a co-starter in 2013 and 2014 and logged 161 tackles, including 16.5 for loss with five sacks, during his career.• Tied for fourth in Clemson history in games.