« Football 2018

Christian Wilkins

School

Clemson University

Position
Defensive Lineman
Major
Communication

Classroom

In December 2017, Christian Wilkins became the first scholarship player in Clemson Football history to earn an undergraduate degree in only 2.5 years, earning his graduate degree in communications. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in athletic leadership. However, his passion for education has not been limited to his own pursuits; this past offseason, he served as a substitute teacher at local elementary and high schools, citing the importance of providing a strong male role model for students in local educational systems.

Character

While there are many public anecdotes about Wilkins’ genuine love for all people, the instances in which he has gone out of his way in private settings as a citizen to make people feel cared for have been too numerous to count. Earlier this year, Wilkins and his teammates were spotted in attendance at a women’s soccer game shortly after returning home after 5 a.m. from a road win at Texas A&M. At the game, Wilkins and his teammates were spotted taking the initiative to find, greet and spend time with a disabled woman who was also in attendance. Many people in the Clemson area can share similar stories of Wilkins taking time from his own life as a student-athlete to go out of his way to make people smile.

Community

Wilkins has been active in the community throughout his time at Clemson. He has participated in multiple Habitat for Humanity builds, participated in the Relay for Life Athlete Lap, been part of the Clemson Miracle Dance Marathon, visited Taylor Elementary as part of their Visionary Leaders program, and supported teammate Sean Pollard’s “All Off for Cancer” event.

Competition

At a university that has mass-produced elite defensive linemen in the last decade, Wilkins may be the most-decorated Clemson defensive lineman under Head Coach Dabo Swinney. He entered 2018 as a two-time All-American (including first-team AFCA and Sporting News honors, and second-team AP honors) and can become only the fourth player in school history to earn three career first-team All-America selections with another nod this year. He has helped the Tigers to three consecutive ACC titles and three straight College Football Playoff berths while helping his senior class enter the 2018 season with 40 wins in their first three years.