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Former Clemson, South Carolina stars voted to NFL top 100 list by fellow players

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Deshaun Watson

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who played at Clemson, is No. 20 on the list of the NFL's top 100 players. File/AP

Deshaun Watson and Jadeveon Clowney are among the former Clemson and South Carolina football stars earning spots on this year's list of the top 100 players in the NFL.

The league announced the top 100 over four days this week. The results were featured on the NFL Network, and a YouTube clip of highlights and comments was made for each of the players, who were selected by their peers.

Here’s a little about each former Tiger and Gamecock on the list:

No. 8: WR DeAndre Hopkins (Clemson)

DeAndre Hopkins (copy)

Former Clemson wide receiver and Arizona Cardinals' star DeAndre Hopkins is No. 8 on the NFL's top 100 list. File/AP Photo

Team: Arizona Cardinals (traded from Houston during 2020 offseason)

2019 stats: 104 catches for 1,165 yards and 7 touchdowns

Comment from New England Patriots’ cornerback Stephon Gilmore: “His mentality is fight. Going into each and every game, he wants to be great. A lot of receivers don’t have that mentality and he has that.”

No. 9: CB Stephon Gilmore (South Carolina)

Stephon Gilmore

Former South Carolina Gamecock and New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore is ranked 9th on the list of the NFL's top 100 players. File/AP

Team: New England Patriots

2019 stats: 53 tackles, 6 interceptions, 2 defensive touchdowns; named 2019 Defensive Player of the Year

Comment from Carolina Panthers’ wide receiver Robby Anderson: “He’s fluid. You can try to do little things, but he’s just on top of you. He’s like a big blanket.”

No. 20: QB Deshaun Watson (Clemson)

Team: Houston Texans

2019 stats: 3,852 passing yards and 26 touchdowns, along with 413 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns

Comment from Indianapolis Colts’ linebacker Darius Leonard (S.C. State alum): “He can beat you with his arm. He can beat you with his legs. Or you saw against the Patriots, he can even catch the ball.”

Jadeveon Clowney

Former South Carolina Gamecock defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (90), a current NFL free agent, is ranked No. 41 on the NFL list. File/AP

No. 41: DE Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina)

Team: Free Agent (spent 2019 with Seattle Seahawks)

2019 stats: 31 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception and 2 defensive touchdowns

Comment from Philadelphia Eagles’ running back Miles Sanders: “He’s that guy that messes up the whole play for you. He’s very disruptive. And once he gets going, he gets even stronger.”

No. 91: DT Grady Jarrett (Clemson)

Grady Jarrett

Grady Jarrett, a former star at Clemson and defensive tackle with the Atlanta Falcons, is No. 81 on the top 100 list. File/AP

Team: Atlanta Falcons

2019 stats: 69 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 2 fumbles

Comment from safety Johnathan Cyprien, a free agent (2019 with Eagles): “He’s just so disruptive. The quarterback doesn’t want to get sacked again, so he just throws a lollipop.”

Reach Derrek Asberry at 843-937-5517. Follow him on Twitter @DerrekAsberry

Sports Reporter

Derrek Asberry is sports reporter with the Post and Courier. He joined the newsroom in March 2016, after three years at the Aiken Standard where he covered the Savannah River Site. He enjoys New York Yankee baseball and poker.

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