Lamar native, former Steeler to be inducted into Clemson Ring of Honor

Lamar native, former Steeler to be inducted into Clemson Ring of Honor
Lamar native Levon Kirkland is being inducted into the Clemson Ring of Honor. (Source: Clemson Athletics)

CLEMSON, S.C (WMBF) - Former Clemson All-American and Lamar native Levon Kirkland will be inducted into the Clemson Ring of Honor this fall.

According to a press release, Kirkland will be honored at a Clemson football game to be announced at a later date.

The Ring of Honor is the highest honor a former Clemson athlete can receive. An inductee must already be in the Athletic Hall of Fame, have a four-year degree, and have made a significant contribution to the heritage of Clemson athletics. The selections are made every two years by an 11-person committee.

Kirkland was a two-time All-American and three-time first-team All-ACC selection as an outside linebacker between 1988 and 1991, the release stated. He was a second-team AP All-American and finalist for the Butkus Award as a junior in 1990, a unit that led the nation in total defense.

He was a first-team All-America selection as a senior by the American Football Coaches Association, Sporting News and Walter Camp Foundation in 1991.

Kirkland was the Most Valuable Player of Clemson’s 1989 Gator Bowl victory over West Virginia as a sophomore, according to the release. He was named a freshman All-American in 1988 when he helped the Tigers to a 10-2 record and the ACC Championship.

Kirkland finished his career with 19 sacks and 40 tackles for loss. The Tigers had a 39-8-1 record over his four years as a starter. The Tigers won the ACC Championship in 1988 and 1991, and finished in the top 20 in the nation all four years, including a number-eight ranking in the final 1988 UPI coaches poll, a No. 12 finish in the 1989 AP poll and a No. 9 finish in the final AP poll of 1990.

Clemson also won three bowl games over Kirkland’s career.

A second-round NFL draft choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kirkland went on to an 11-year All-Pro career with the Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks, the release stated. He was named to the NFL Team of the 1990s as a linebacker before retiring after the 2002 season.

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