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Tigers in the NFL: Solid Orange Sundays

Allen Randall, staff

Mackensie Alexander (2) is in his first year with the Vikings. 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the playoff push. The National Football League’s (NFL) playoffs start on January 7, 2017. 

With a little over a month away from the playoffs, teams are jockeying for position, divisions are being decided and some of the biggest games are being played this coming weekend. 

But as I have said before, Tigers fans will be concerned about one huge thing: those Tigers in the NFL. 

The NFL gives Clemson players a chance to play more and develop as players on a professional level. And it gives Clemson fans a chance to still root on the Tigers, even though they aren’t wearing that famous orange and purple anymore!

Dabo Swinney, coach of the Clemson Tigers, has played an essential role in this process. Since taking over as interim head coach back in 2008, he has had 44 players taken in the NFL Draft. And that list will grow after the 2017 NFL Draft. With players such as Deshaun Watson and Mike Williams, who will be looking to make a name for themselves in the NFL next year. 

As we inch closer to playoff time in the National Football League, this presents the perfect opportunity to check up on the Clemson Tigers in the NFL this season: 


Adam Humphries:


Adam Humphries is in his sophomore season in the NFL, playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At 5’11,” 195 pounds, the former Clemson wide-receiver is becoming a vital part of the Tampa Bay offense. He’s eclipsed the one-hundred yard receiving mark in a game against the LA Rams, and had twelve receptions in that game. 

The Buccaneers are (6-5), and are only one game behind the NFC South-leading Falcons this season. They will need Humphries to step up, in order to make a strong playoff push. 


Marcus Gilchrist: 


The former Clemson University safety is in his sixth season in the National Football League. The second-round draft pick is in his second season with the New York Jets, after spending his first four with the San Diego Chargers. 

The New York Jets are not doing well this season at (3-8), but Gilchrist has. In two of their three wins, Gilchrist had an interception and he has proved himself a key part of their defense. If the Jets want any hope of going to the playoffs, Gilchrist will have to lead the charge to stop the pass and the run attack of their opponents. 


Coty Sensabaugh:


Coty Sensabaugh was a shutdown cornerback for the Tigers, just four years ago when he was a student-athlete at Clemson University. Sensabaugh was a fourth-round draft pick and has been with a couple of teams. 

He started the 2016 campaign with the LA Rams, but was acquired by the New York Giants early this season. He has accounted for seventeen tackles so far this season, and if given more substantial playing time, he could have a chance for more. Sensabaugh and the Giants are currently on a six-game winning streak and are looking to overtake the NFC East division-leading Cowboys and steal the division. With a tough stretch ahead to win the division, Sensabaugh and the defense will have to play well. 


Vic Beasley Jr.: 


For Tiger fans, one man is especially known for being a terror to all offenses in the ACC: it is Vic Beasley Jr. Beasley is having an exceptional season so far with the NFC South division-leading Atlanta Falcons. 

The Falcons are (7-4) this year and are a lock for the playoffs, barring a terrible finish. Vic Beasley Jr. is an integral part of this defense and is looking to shut down all NFC opponents. Beasley has twenty-four total tackles, four forced fumbles, and a career-best nine and a half sacks. He is living up to the expectations and is so far a great fit for the Falcons. 


Tavaris Barnes:


Barnes is in his sophomore season as well, and the former Tiger alum is looking to make a difference with the Seattle Seahawks this season. The defensive-end has five combined tackles this season. 

Mackensie Alexander:


Alexander, the former cornerback for the Tigers has seen the field a few times this season in his rookie year. 

He is looking to make a difference with the Minnesota Vikings this playoff push time. The Vikings are sitting at (6-5), and are behind the NFC North leading Detroit Lions. He has managed five combined tackles this season, but sadly he just suffered an injury late in the season and could now be looking at limited playing time. 


Andre Branch: 


In his first season with the Miami Dolphins, Andre Branch and the Dolphins are having a great season so far. They are (7-4), and are behind the AFC East leading New England Patriots. 

If the Dolphins want to sneak into the playoff picture; all eyes will be on their defense. Branch in his fifth season has put together a great campaign. 

He has thirty-one combined tackles, one

forced fumble and four and a half sacks. Branch is a threat to all quarterbacks, at 6’5”, 263 pounds. 

The former second-round pick is ready to lock up a wild card spot for the Miami Dolphins this season. 


As always this is only a short list of former Clemson Tigers making huge strides in the National Football League. Oh, it is the most wonderful time of the year, and every Sunday is Solid Orange Sunday. 


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