by CU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins (No. 33 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals) and safety Tanner Muse (No. 100 overall to the Las Vegas Raiders) were both selected on Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft on Friday evening.
Including the selections of linebacker Isaiah Simmons and cornerback A.J. Terrell on Thursday, Clemson now has four selections through the first three rounds of this year’s draft.
“Wide Receiver U” took center stage as Day 2 commenced. The Bengals selected Higgins with the evening’s first pick, pushing Clemson’s nation-leading and school-record number of consecutive drafts with a wide receiver selected to five. The two-time All-ACC selection became the ninth Clemson receiver selected in the NFL Draft since 2013.
The Raiders have become a frequent destination for Clemson draft picks in recent years and added to that association with the selection of Muse in the third round. Including the Raiders’ selections of Clelin Ferrell, Trayvon Mullen and Hunter Renfrow in the 2019 NFL Draft and Muse’s selection this year, the Raiders became the first NFL franchise to draft four Clemson players in a two-draft span since the New York Giants in the 1983-84 drafts.
The 2020 NFL Draft will resume at noon ET on Saturday with Rounds 4-7. Notes and comments from Clemson coaches following each selection are available on ClemsonTigers.com Draft Central.
COMMENTS ON HIGGINS
HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “Tee Higgins is as complete a receiver as we’ve had come out of Clemson. I think he’s in the same category as Williams when it comes to being a complete receiver and you’re talking about size, speed, athleticism, catch radius, ball skills, ability to lean on people, body control and all of those type of things. He’s as complete a receiver as we’ve had come out of here. Tee is a great kid and a Day One starter.”
WIDE RECEIVERS COACH TYLER GRISHAM: “Tee is a consistently hard-working young man. For a high-profile guy and just a naturally talented player, it comes easy to him, but he doesn’t rest on his laurels and wants to improve every day. He’s a great practice player, which shows up on game day.“
“Being so tall, he can win on jump balls. Having a basketball background, he’s able to time up those jump balls well, but for being a tall guy, he runs routes like he’s a 5’10” or 6’0” guy and has great top-end speed. His ability to get in and out of his breaks with ease is uncommon for a 6’4” receiver. He has phenomenal hands, but what gets overlooked is his toughness and strength.“
”He was one of our best blockers because he has the tools and he cares and has the ‘want-to’ to do his job and help his teammates out. As a person, he’s a kind and respectful young man. He’s got a great smile and an innocence to him, and he’s known as a great teammate who is loved by his peers.”
COMMENTS ON MUSE
HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “Tanner Muse is a poor man’s version of Isaiah Simmons, and what I mean by that is he’s not 6’4’’, but he’s very similar to Isaiah in that he can do a lot of things. In a day and age where everybody’s looking for a hybrid guy, he is the ultimate hybrid guy. He was a great safety for us but has the confidence to play linebacker and has elite speed. He can run with anybody. I think he’s a guy that has a chance to be an All-Pro special teams player. I think he’s got that type of impact.“
“He’s a core special teams guy. He’s incredibly smart — a fifth-year senior, graduate, great leader, captain, and is going to really make somebody a heck of a football player. He’s got great energy and brings great energy and enthusiasm every single day and is excited about his opportunity coming up. It’s the same thing as Isaiah: He’s got versatility, he can do a lot of things and he can really, really run.”
SAFETIES COACH MICKEY CONN: “The Raiders are getting an unbelievable talent. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast, he’s physical. He’s just an incredible player. He’s a great leader. He can flat run. People have no idea how fast this guy is at his size. You’re talking about a guy who is 230 pounds that can run a 4.3 40-yard dash. He’s physical, aggressive and smart. He’s going to learn the defense. He knows he’s going to be very detailed in the understanding of the defense.“