Bellamy was expected to be a major contributor for Clemson in 2012, but was ruled ineligible after spring practice and will transfer to a junior college. Bellamy finished second on the team with 343 yards rushing and averaged six yards per carry as a true freshman in 2011. He also had three rushing touchdowns, caught two passes and returned four kickoffs for 64 yards last season. He had a season-high 81 yards rushing on just three carries in his first collegiate game in the season opener against Troy. One of those carries went for 75 yards, which was the longest rushing play for any Clemson player in 2011. He led the team in rushing twice, including 47 yards against Virginia Tech, the first time the two teams met in Blacksburg, Va., on Oct. 1. Bellamy also had a 31-yard touchdown run in that game that helped seal the deal on the Tigers’ 23-3 victory over the then No. 10-ranked Hokies.
Brewer enters his senior season with 40-career games played and 23 total starts under his belt. The three-year starter finished his 2011 campaign with 60 tackles, 45 of those being solo stops, three tackles for loss, an interception and seven pass breakups. He was second on the team in pass breakups and has 18 for his career. He had a season- and career-high 10 tackles against Georgia Tech and his lone interception came against Virginia Tech in the Tigers’ convincing 23-3 win in Blacksburg, Va. He has missed just one game in his first three seasons in a Clemson uniform.
Breeland played in all 14 games as a redshirt freshman in 2011, making seven starts at cornerback. He finished his first season in a Tigers’ uniform with 53 tackles, 42 of those being solo stops, one tackle for loss, four pass breakups and two interceptions. He tied for second on the team in interceptions and got his first career pick against Maryland. His other interception came in the ACC Championship Game against Virginia Tech when he picked off Logan Thomas at Clemson’s two-yard-line and returned it 64 yards. Breeland had a team-high 11 tackles (seven solo) in the Tigers’ loss to then No. 13-ranked South Carolina on Nov. 26.
The highly regarded recruit made an impact in his first collegiate game, as Anthony recorded four tackles, a sack and broke up a pass in Clemson’s 2011 season-opening win over Troy. The true freshman finished his first season in a Tigers’ uniform with 32 tackles (25 solo), six tackles for loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles and a pass breakup in 13 games. He made three starts late in the season, including in the ACC Championship Game against Virginia Tech. He made the most of that opportunity as he tallied three tackles, two tackles for a loss, a sack and forced a fumble in the Tigers’ convincing 38-10 win.
Goodman enters his senior season as the most experienced Clemson player on the roster with 41 career games played. He started all 14 games last season and finished with 59 tackles, 43 of those solo stops, four tackles for loss, two sacks, a forced fumble and a pass breakup. He played 767 snaps last year, which was not only the most on the team at his position in 2011, but the most by a Tigers’ defensive lineman in school history. His best game of his junior season came against Boston College when he tallied six tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and caused a fumble on a sack. He also had a season-high nine tackles against Georgia Tech’s option offense on Oct. 29.
Last season Hopkins became just the second wide receiver in ACC history to have 50 or more catches in his first two seasons, joining fellow Tiger Derrick Hamilton (2001-02) in this distinction. Hopkins finished 2011 second on the team with 72 receptions and 978 yards receiving and also had five touchdown receptions. Hopkins had 157 yards receiving against North Carolina, which was the most by any Clemson receiver in 2011. Hopkins led the Tigers in receiving in three of the their last four games, during which he had a combined 25 catches for 347 yards. He hauled in a season- and career-high 10 receptions in the Orange Bowl against West Virginia, which went for 105 yards and a touchdown. He is the only Clemson player in school history to have two 100-yard receiving games in bowl games as he had 105 yards receiving against South Florida in the Meineke Car Care Bowl as a true freshman in 2010.
Besides being named first-team All-ACC last season, Freeman was one of the six finalists for the Dave Rimington Award, which is given to the nation’s top center. Freeman was one of two juniors who were named finalists. Freeman enters his senior season with 36 starts in 40 career games played, the most of any Clemson offensive player. Last season alone, Freeman played 1,044 snaps, the most of any player in school history. Freeman is the unquestioned leader of the offensive line, as he and junior left guard Brandon Thomas are the only returning starters up front. A two-time Academic All-ACC performer, Freeman should finish his career as the record holder for most career starts by a Tigers’ offensive lineman (48).
Ellington enters his senior season 10th in school history in career rushing yards (2,335) and tied for 10th in rushing touchdowns (25). Last season, he was named second-team All-ACC after finishing fourth in the conference in rushing with 1,178 yards in 13 games. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry in 2011 and his career average is 5.8 yards per carry. He topped 1,000 career rushing yards in just 151 carries, the second-fewest in Clemson history. He had five 100-yard rushing games last season, including a career-high 212 yards on 24 carries (8.8 ypc) against Maryland. Ellington led Clemson in rushing in 10 of the team’s 14 games and his season-long rush was a 74-yard touchdown run against Wake Forest. He finished his 2011 campaign with back-to-back games of more than 110 yards on the ground. He had 125 yards and a touchdown in the Tigers’ ACC Championship Game win over Virginia Tech and 116 yards against West Virginia in the Orange Bowl.
Boyd was named first-team All-ACC quarterback last season after leading the conference in total offense (289 yards per game), passing yards (273.4 per game), touchdown responsibility (38), touchdown passes (33) and completions (298). He became the first Clemson quarterback to lead the ACC in total offense since Woodrow Dantzler did in 2001. Besides establishing school single-season records for total offense, passing yards and completions, Boyd broke the ACC mark for touchdown responsibility and he did all of this as a sophomore in his first year as the Tigers’ starting quarterback. Boyd’s best game of the 2011 season came Oct. 22 versus North Carolina when he carved up the Tar Heels’ defense for 367 yards through the air and a total of six touchdowns (five passing, one rushing). He was named a semifinalist for both the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and the Maxwell Award last season.
Last season, Watkins became the first true freshman in ACC history to be named an Associated Press first-team All-American as he was named the all-purpose player. Watkins was also named the ACC Rookie of the Year as he led the conference in all-purpose yards with 2,288 in 14 games (176 yards per game). That’s the second-highest total in both school and ACC history, trailing only former Clemson great C.J. Spiller’s 2009 senior season total of 2,680 yards. In just one season, he has already rewritten the Clemson record books, including new single-season marks for receptions (82), receiving yards (1,219) and touchdown catches (12). Besides all those receiving yards, he had 213 yards rushing, 826 yards on kickoff returns, 12 yards on punt returns and also completed one pass for nine yards in 2011.
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