Christian Wilkins is considered one of the greatest players to have ever worn the orange and white at Clemson. But the former Tiger does not even consider himself among the best defensive linemen in the program’s history.
As a guest on the Players Club Podcast, which is hosted by former Clemson running back Darien Rencher, Wilkins was asked to list the top five defensive linemen in Clemson history.
· Grady Jarrett
· Vic Beasley
· William Perry
· DaQuan Bowers
· Gaines Adams
Bottom Line: Tigers Season On Line Against Virginia Tech
After falling to North Carolina on Tuesday night, Clemson finds itself in a must win situation against top-seeded Virginia Tech.
Swinney Will Never Shy Away From Anyone
Dabo Swinney has seen it all and for him, the rise to glory is not because anything was given to the Tigers—in fact, they just went out and earned it.
North Carolina Cruises Past Clemson In ACC Tournament Opener
Clemson falls to North Carolina in the teams opening game of the ACC Tournament.
Listing Clemson’s greatest defensive linemen of all time is a tall order for anyone, but Wilkins was quick and decisive in his picks, and, as you can see, he did not include himself on the list.
“Grady Jarrett, definitely. D-Line legend at Clemson and doing his thing now in the (NFL),” Wilkins said. “Number two we have Vic Beasley. Number three we got the Fridge. Number four we got DaQuan Bowers. He did it all for Clemson and was a legend at Clemson.
“Number five is R.I.P., Gaines Adams, the former number four overall pick.”
Besides leaving himself off the list, Wilkins also left off all of his Power Ranger teammates at Clemson – Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence and Austin Bryant. As a group they are considered one of the greatest defensive fronts in the history of college football after they helped lead the Tigers to the first 15-0 season in major college football history and to the 2018 National Championship. They also were a part of Clemson’s 2016 National Championship.
As for Wilkins, he finished his four-year career at Clemson (2015-’18) as one of its most decorated and most beloved figures. He was a three-time All-American who became the fifth unanimous All-American in school history in 2018, joining Adams and Bowers, along with Terry Kinard and C.J. Spiller. He was also a three-time All-ACC selection and the second four-time All-ACC Academic selection in school history.
He became a three-time All-American while playing two different positions. In 2016, due to an injury to Bryant, Wilkins earned All-American status as a defensive end. He moved back inside to his natural position at defensive tackle in 2017, where he became at First-Team All-American in ’17 and ’18.
Besides dominating on the defensive side of the ball, Wilkins also made his presence known on offense, as he posted two rushing touchdowns and caught one as well.
Though he was not redshirted, Wilkins left Clemson with two degrees, including his Master’s Degree. He became the first player in Clemson history to win the William V. Campbell Trophy, a.k.a. the academic Heisman.
The Miami Dolphins drafted Wilkins with the No. 13 overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.