Column: All-Dabo Swinney Team

In his 14-plus seasons as Clemson’s head football coach, Dabo Swinney has coached some of the greatest players in Clemson history.

Some of the players I have included in my All-Dabo Swinney team will likely be on some of the All-Time Clemson teams in the future.

From Tajh Boyd to Trevor Lawrence at quarterback, from C.J. Spiller to Will Shipley at running back to other positions like DeAndre Hopkins to Tee Higgins at wide receiver or guys like Christian Wilkins, Da’Quan Bowers, Clelin Ferrell and Isaiah Simmons on the defensive side of the ball, Clemson has had a lot of great players under Swinney’s direction.

So below is my All-Dabo Swinney Team. It’s just one team, so a lot of great players are not on this list. I forced myself to just list one team. I know that is hard for a lot of people to do in this day and age, and trust me, it was hard for me too.

By the way, if I had to pick one player who was the greatest football player to ever play under Dabo Swinny, it would have to be C.J. Spiller. If you are curious as to why, just look at my All-Swinney Team below.


PositionPlayerYears PlayedAccolades
QuarterbackDeshaun Watson2014-’162-time Heisman Trophy Finalist, 2-time Davey O’Brien Award Winner First-Team All-American, 2015 ACC Player of the Year
Running BackTravis Etienne2017-’20ACC’s all-time rushing leader, ACC’s all-time TD leader, 2020 Consensus All-American, 3-time First-Team All-American, 2018 and 2019 ACC Player of the Year
Offensive TackleMitch Hyatt2015-’182-time First-Team All-American, 2018 Consensus All-American, Jacobs Blocking Award Winner
Offensive GuardAntoine McClain2008-’11All-ACC Selection, 41 career starts, played in 54 games.
CenterDalton Freeman2009-’12First-Team All-American, 2-time First-Team All-ACC
Offensive GuardJohn Simpson2016-’192019 Consensus First-Team All-American, First-Team All-ACC
Offensive TackleJordan McFadden2019-’22First-Team All-ACC, 2-time All-ACC honoree, Jacobs Blocking Award Winner
Tight EndDwayne Allen2009-’112011 Consensus First-Team All-American, John Mackey Award, 2-time All-ACC selection
Wide ReceiverSammy Watkins2011-’133-time First-Team All-American, 2011 National Freshman of the Year, 2011 ACC Rookie of the Year, Clemson’s career leader for receiving yards and tied for receiving touchdowns
Wide ReceiverDeAndre Hopkins2010-’12All-American selection, First-Team All-ACC, set Clemson record for career touchdown receptions
Wide ReceiverTee Higgins2017-’19All-American selection, First-Team All-ACC, tied Clemson record for career touchdown receptions
PlacekickerB.T. Potter2018-’222-time All-ACC selection, Clemson’s all-time leader in field goals, PATs and points by a kicker
All-PurposeC.J. Spiller2006-’092009 Unanimous First-Team All-American, 2009 ACC Player of the Year, ACC’s all-time leader in career All-Purpose yards
Defensive EndDa’Quan Bowers2008-’102010 Unanimous First-Team All-American, 2010 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, 2010 Nagurski Award as nation’s best defensive player, Hendricks Award Winner 
Defensive TackleChristian Wilkins2015-’182018 Unanimous First-Team All-American, 3-time First-Team All-American, 2018 Campbell Trophy Award winner, 2017 National Defensive Lineman of the Year (Willis Award)
Defensive TackleDexter Lawrence2016-’182016 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, 2-time All-American selection, 2018 First-Team All-American
Defensive EndClelin Ferrell2016-’182018 Consensus All-American, 2-time First-Team All-American, 2018 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Hendricks Award winner
LinebackerBen Boulware2013-’16All-American selection, 2-time All-ACC Selection, 2016 First-Team All-ACC, 352 career tackles
LinebackerDorian O’Daniel2014-’17First-Team All-American, All-ACC Selection, Butkus Award Finalist
LinebackerIsaiah Simmons2017-’192019 Unanimous First-Team All-American, Butkus Award winner, 2019 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-ACC
CornerbackMackensie Alexander2014-’15All-American selection, First-Team All-ACC. Played 2 seasons, but started 26 of the 27 games played
SafetyDeAndre McDaniel2007-’102-time All-American, 2009 First-Team All-American, 2-time First-Team All-ACC
SafetyJayron Kearse2013-’15First-Team All-American, All-ACC Selection, 7-career interceptions
CornerbackTrayvon Mullen2016-’18All-American selection, All-ACC selection. Started 26 games in his career
PunterBradley Pinion2012-’14Averaged 42.6 yards per punt in 2014 with a net of 40.3 yards, 7th in school history
SpecialistC.J. Spiller2006-’09Set NCAA record for most career kickoff returns for a touchdown and NCAA record for most kickoff and punt returns combined for touchdowns

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