At Saturday's national championship celebration, Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney went down the list of accomplishments of the senior class which leaves with 55 wins and a pair of national titles.
A number of Midlands players contributed to that effort including Orangeburg's Albert Huggins who came to Clemson as a Parade All-American. Huggins was a career reserve defensive tackle who was pushed into the starting lineup against Notre Dame and Alabama after Dexter Lawrence's failed drug test. He reflected on his time at Clemson at Saturday's parade and looked back on his freshman season.
"Coming out of high school, I thought I was that guy," Huggins said.
"Coming to Clemson, it humbled me a lot. I had faith and I stuck with it. It paid off for me and I'm glad I stuck here, stayed here."
Hammond product Cannon Smith is not the first member of his family to win a national championship. His father, Bill, was a defensive end on the 1981 team that won Clemson's first national title. The father says he has been ecstatic to see his son win not one, but two national championships.
"It's awesome to have him experience what I did 35, 40 years ago," Bill Smith said.
"But I only have one. He has two now. So I have to pass the gavel on to him as the national championship holder of the family, but it's an awesome feeling. I'm just so happy he was able to go through it and experience it on his own. But this is his deal and I'm just a proud dad in the background watching."
For Cannon, just coming to the school where his father played was special. To win a pair of national championships gave him a window into what his father experience in that magical 1981 season.
"Ever since I was a kid I've looked to my dad and the experiences he went through and the excitement that came with it," Cannon said.
"It's been awesome to experience that feeling with him because he's gone through everything. He knows what it's like."
Blythewood graduates Greg Huegel and Jalen Williams are also a part of the Tigers' senior class.