If I remember correctly, former Clemson defensive lineman extraordinaire, Christian Wilkins was the pink power ranger.
It’s said, only real men wear pink, and make no mistake, Wilkins is as real as it gets. While his undeniable greatness on the field is encouraging to young athletes everywhere, it’s his off the field life that deserves a deeper look. He’s a delightful ball of fire.
Have you ever been around someone that oozes fun? That perfectly describes Wilkins, one big ham. Whether he’s playing practical jokes on his teammates or doing the worm in the end zone in celebration, he’s definitely a treasure. One of a kind. However, there is a serious young man underneath all of his outward joy.
He was the recipient of the 2018 William V. Campbell Award. It is awarded annually by the National Football Foundation to the college football player with the best combination of academics, community service, and on-field performance. It is considered by many to be the academic Heisman. It is the highest academic honor that can be bestowed upon a Student Athlete.
He was Clemson’s serendipitous recruit. From what I remember he appeared on Clemson’s radar really late. Some recruiting analyst had him firmly in Penn State’s clutches but Wilkins stumped them all and headed south to Clemson. I think anyone paying attention understands young men like Wilkins just don’t come along very often.
Looking back on his time at Clemson, he has an almost unending highlight reel, with an impressive list of accomplishments. The aforementioned William V. Campbell Award, the Jim Tatum Award, as the nations best defensive lineman. A four time ACC Champion, a two time National Champion, a 2018 consensus All-American and several first team All American awards.
However, those awards only scratch at the surface of what makes Wilkins unique. Dabo Swinney once said he saw two possible scenarios for Wilkins to follow, both good.
One, a long, successful NFL career, after which he begins a Michael Strahan type post football career, hosting his own ESPN show. If not that, Swinney also suggested the Presidency, noting anything was possible for Wilkins.
Ask Wilkins what aspiration does he have? He doesn’t even hesitate in his response. His highest aspiration is to live up to the example set by his grandfather, Eurie Stamps, Sr. What a wonderful tribute. I think that speaks volumes about what type of man Clemson’s Pink Power Ranger truly is.
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