ACC: Chris Clemons

Clemson NFL draft notes

May, 2, 2011
Clemson had a total of six players drafted, tied for the third-most selections in a draft in Clemson history, and tied for fifth-most in the nation this year. Here are a few notes from Clemson's sports information department:
  • Four of Clemson’s six selections were defensive players. It is tied for the second-most defensive players in one draft from Clemson in school history. Clemson had a school-record six defensive players taken in the 1999 NFL draft.
  • Clemson was the only school in the nation to have three defensive players taken in the top 51 selections of the draft. It was the first time in school history that has happened.
  • Five of the six selections came over the first four rounds and it marks just the second time Clemson has had five players taken in the first four rounds. The only other time was at the 1991 draft.
  • Chris Hairston was taken in the fourth round by the Buffalo Bills, the second year in a row the Bills have taken a player from Clemson. Last year, the Bills took C.J. Spiller in the first round with the ninth overall pick. Prior to last season the Bills had not taken a player from Clemson since 1982 (Perry Tuttle).
  • Jamie Harper also went in the fourth round to the Tennessee Titans. Harper is just the second Clemson player taken by Tennessee since 1989. Keith Adams (2001) was the only other Tiger taken by the Tigers in the past 22 years.
  • With Harper’s selection, Clemson has had a running back drafted in each of the past three years. James Davis was drafted by Cleveland in 2009 and Spiller was taken by Buffalo last year.
  • Ten members of Clemson’s 2008 defense have now been drafted. Dorell Scott, Mike Hamlin and Chris Clemons were drafted in April of 2009, Ricky Sapp, Crezdon Butler and Kavell Conner were taken in 2010 and Jarvis Jenkins, Marcus Gilchrist, Da'Quan Bowers, and Byron Maxwell were all taken this year. Freshmen on that team could be drafted next year and could add to that total.

Clemson spring wrap-up

May, 7, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Clemson Tigers
2008 overall record: 7-6

2008 conference record: 4-4

Returning starters

Offense: Offense: 7, defense: 8, punter/kicker: 0

Top returners

WR Jacoby Ford, RB C.J. Spiller, OG Thomas Austin, CB Crezdon Butler, CB Chris Chancellor, DE Ricky Sapp, LB Kavell Conner

Key losses

WR Aaron Kelly, QB Cullen Harper, RB James Davis, WR Tyler Grisham, S Michael Hamlin, S Chris Clemons, PK Mark Buchholz, P Jimmy Maners, NG Darell Scott

2008 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: James Davis (791 yards)
Passing: Cullen Harper (2,601 yards)
Receiving: Aaron Kelly (722 yards)
Tackles: LB Kavell Conner* (125)
Sacks: LB Brandon Maye*, DT Jarvis Jenkins*, DE Ricky Sapp* and DT Rashaad Jackson (2 each)
Interceptions: Michael Hamlin (6)

Spring answers

2009 Schedule

Sept. 5 Middle Tennessee
Sept. 10 at Georgia Tech
Sept. 19 Boston College
Sept. 26 Central Michigan
Oct. 3 at Maryland
Oct. 10 OPEN
Oct. 17 Wake Forest
Oct. 24 at Miami
Oct. 31 Coastal Carolina
Nov. 7 Florida State
Nov. 14 at NC State
Nov. 21 Virginia
Nov. 28 at South Carolina

1. Starting QB: Kyle Parker has proved to be a remarkable athlete in his first spring competing for the starting quarterback job. He's proved capable of leading both the Tigers' offense on the football field and the baseball field. He was the better of the two quarterbacks. That doesn't mean he'll be the starter, but it does give Dabo Swinney confidence in the option.

2. A new 'D': First-year defensive coordinator Kevin Steele was a great hire, and Clemson's defense will be more aggressive. It hasn't been broken the last four years under Vic Koenning, but Steele will look to sack the quarterback more, and play more man coverage in the secondary, which Butler and Chancellor like.

3. A better O-line: The offensive line will be much better. Clemson ran the ball well this spring without Spiller, who, along with Jacoby Ford was also running track and not allowed to be tackled this spring for fear of getting them hurt. Thomas Austin is a leader and former center who will play guard and Mason Cloy seems comfortable now at center.

Fall questions

1. No. 2 receiver: There's no clear-cut receiver for the No. 2 spot behind Ford, who wasn't around much this spring because of track. There were numerous dropped balls early in the spring, but there was also some improvement. Xavier Dye has the potential to step in and was Korn's teammate for half a year. Redshirt freshmen Brandon Ford and Jaron Brown are also candidates.

2. Parker vs. Korn: Swinney is not being coy when he says Kyle Parker and Willy Korn are "co-No. 1s" going into August camp. The one thing that can't be accurately evaluated in the spring is how well the quarterbacks can run, which is something they'll have to do more in this system. But the quarterbacks can't be tackled in the scrimmages. Korn is the better runner, but Parker was the better quarterback this spring.

3. Safety: The Tigers are still looking to name two starting safeties. DeAndre McDaniel was moved from linebacker to safety, and hasn't played it before. Sadat Chambers, who had 21 tackles on second-string last year, will continue to compete with Carlton Lewis and Rashard Hall this summer.

Clemson's Steele makes transition easy for strong secondary

May, 6, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Over the past three seasons, Clemson cornerback Chris Chancellor had earned the nickname "little Vic" because of his close relationship with former defensive coordinator Vic Koenning.

Koenning had become like a father figure to Chancellor, so when Koenning left for Kansas State because he wasn't guaranteed a spot on Clemson's new staff, it hit Chancellor hard.

Kevin Steele helped make the transition easier.

Steele, Clemson's new defensive coordinator, brought an aggressive scheme with him to Death Valley, but he was also a familiar face. He's known Chancellor since Chancellor was a sophomore at Miami Edison Senior High School and Steele, then a member of Florida State's staff, was recruiting him.

"Me and him go way back," Chancellor said. "When they said they were thinking about getting Kevin Steele I was like, 'what?' Me and coach Steele, we real cool, we connect. When he came, we sat down and talked a little bit, he told me about everything."

Steele inherited an already talented defense and he is working to make even better. Last year, Clemson's defense ranked in the top 20 in the nation in scoring defense, total defense and pass defense. The secondary has been a strength for the Tigers, and it might be the strength of the entire team in 2009. Although it lost its leaders in safeties Michael Hamlin and Chris Clemons, the Tigers return veteran cornerbacks Crezdon Butler and Chancellor.

"We pretty much learned the defense this spring and so far we're liking it," Butler said. "We can be more aggressive at the corner positions. We're looking forward to this year. It's going to be exciting. Last year we were more of zone, and we had the principle of don't get beat deep, so we couldn't play as aggressive. This year it's going to be exciting. It's going to be a different type of defense."

And Butler and Chancellor will be leading it. The two of them have started together in the secondary for each of the past 26 straight games. Butler has 10 career interceptions for 196 yards, tied for the most interceptions and the most return yards among active ACC players. Both of them had four interceptions each last season.

Although their coordinator has changed, their motto has not.

"Me and Butler, we've got a motto: Every time the ball is in the air, if it's not a pick, it's a PBU," Chancellor said. "That's our motto. Every time we hit the field we say that and go out there and give it our all and try to lock people down."

ACC and the NFL combine

February, 3, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

The official invitation list for the NFL scouting combine is out, and there are plenty of ACC players who will participate in the four-day job interview in Indianapolis from Feb. 18-24. Just because a player didn't make the list doesn't mean he won't be drafted, but here are the ACC players by school who were invited to the combine:


Kevin Akins, cornerback/linebacker

Ron Brace, defensive tackle

B.J. Raji, defensive tackle


Chris Clemons, safety

James Davis, running back

Michael Hamlin, safety

Cullen Harper, quarterback

Aaron Kelly, receiver

Dorell Scott, defensive tackle


Everette Brown, defensive end

Graham Gano, punter/placekicker


Andrew Gardner, offensive tackle

Michael Johnson, defensive end

Darryl Richard, defensive tackle

Vance Walker, defensive tackle

Jahi Word-Daniels, cornerback


Kevin Barnes, cornerback

Moise Fokou, outside linebacker

Dan Gronkowski, tight end

Darrius Heyward-Bey, wide receiver

Jaimie Thomas, offensive guard

Edwin Williams, center


Bruce Johnson, cornerback


Brooks Foster, wide receiver

Hakeem Nicks, wide recevier

Richard Quinn, tight end

Garrett Reynolds, offensive tackle

Brandon Tate, wide receiver


Andre Brown, running back

Anthony Hill, tight end


Eugene Monroe, offensive tackle

Kevin Ogletree, wide receiver

Cedric Peerman, tailback

John Phillips, tight end

Clint Sintim, linebacker


Victor "Macho" Harris, cornerback

Orion Martin, defensive end


Stanley Arnoux, linebacker

Aaron Curry, linebacker

Alphonso Smith, cornerback

Sam Swank, punter/placekicker

Chip Vaughn, safety

Speaking of Ray Ray ...

August, 8, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

After what I originally thought was a rather harmless blog entry yesterday on a random connection between Clemson and Temple, I got several notes like these:

MadMike from T-town, writes:

Why not, instead of painting this pretty picture of the Ray Ray story an how Clemson is so great, write how Clemson bagged poor Ray Ray and his brother after using him and his great PR. Why not post that on your blog. I can't believe that was not a bigger story than it was. 

Well, that was a pretty big story in March, and most of the opinions on it seemed to be the same. Jemele Hill wrote about it, too.

There's always more to the story, though, and Mark Schlabach found it.

But for those of you whose hearts were broken over Tommy Bowden's decision, it's not like Ray Ray McElrathbey is leaving Clemson empty-handed.

Six Clemson football players will graduate on Saturday and McElrathbey will be one of them.

Last I checked, that's what college is for.

McElrathbey will receive his undergraduate degree in sociology from Clemson at 11 a.m. on Saturday in Littlejohn Coliseum. He will continue his education and his football career this fall at Howard University in Washington, DC.

McElrathbey's little brother, Fahmarr, received financial support through a fund established by a waiver granted by the NCAA. The McElrathbey family will be available on the concourse area on the south side of Littlejohn Coliseum at the conclusion of the graduation ceremony on Saturday.

"I want to personally thank everyone who made this day possible," McElrathbey stated in a release. "We received so much support from the Clemson community over the last three years and I hope they will come by this area after graduation so I can thank them."

Also graduating are current Tigers Chris Clemons and Paul Macko, former players Jad Dean, Marion Dukes and Elsmore Gabriel.