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Tigers in the NFL: Solid Orange Sundays

Allen Randall, Contributor

Mackensie Alexander (2) was drafted 54th overall by the Vikings.

Call your mother. Call your father. Call your priest, and tell him or her to end the service early.
It’s back.
NFL football is officially back. Actually, NFL football officially started on Thursday when the Carolina Panthers took on the returning champions, the Denver Broncos. But we’re not concerned about that game unless you were a Tiger alum. Yes, that’s right, when NFL play gets underway we finally get to see the players who gave it all they had at Memorial Stadium on Saturdays come to play on the big stage every Sunday. It’s the Tigers in the NFL.
Coach Swinney has developed an amazing tenure at Clemson and he’s bred many players and has sent many to the National Football League. He just had nine players to get drafted last year. Since taking over as interim head coach back in 2008, he has had 44 players taken in the NFL Draft. Here are just a few of the many that are still active and making big plays every Sunday:
C.J Spiller:
Good ole number 28. Clemson couldn’t have done it without him just a few years ago. C. J. just signed a four-year, $16 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. His four-million-dollar value is tied at 14th among running backs.
He played with the Saints last year but didn’t have the year he hoped to have. But in interviews he says he’s ready to get back to being that electrifying runner we all know he can be. “Just hopefully I can stay on the right track with everything, and once we kick this thing off, be ready to go,” he said last week. “I definitely feel real good.”
Chandler Catanzaro:
We all remember the 43 yard kick against Wake Forest that sent the Tigers to the ACC Championship, right? It’s the “Cat-Man”, and he’s been playing very well in his past two seasons. Coming into his third season in the National Football League, he’s connected on 57/64 field goals for his career so far. He’s become a household name for the Arizona Cardinals and will be looking to make a deeper run into the playoffs this year.
Andre Branch:
Andre Branch is from the 2012 NFL Draft class. This second round pick just became a Miami Dolphin this past offseason. After spending four years with the Jacksonville Jaguars he’ll be taking his talents to South Beach. The fifth year defensive end signed a one year, three-million-dollar deal back in March. Just last year, Branch started ten games for the Jaguars. He recorded 24 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles.
Martavis Bryant:
Sadly, he’s been suspended for the entire 2016 season. He will not be able to help the Steelers win the Super Bowl this year.
Vic Beasley:
He’ll be back with Atlanta again, and looks to have a great season this year as he is coming off of a four sack, one interception rookie season.
Andre Ellington:
Also with the Cardinals, he looks to be their go to catching running back again this year. He has 1,601 yards receiving and 100 receptions over his career in Arizona.
Mackensie Alexander:
The recent draftee will be trying to making a name for himself in the twin cities, playing with the Minnesota Vikings. He made the 54-man roster and has been looking pretty good in minicamp; except him to have tremendous upside as the season progresses.
That’s just a small number of the Tigers making plays with the
National Football League every week. Isn’t it amazing that all these players were just here years ago on the campus of Clemson University?
Every Sunday from now on will be Solid Orange Sunday.

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