Clemson Has No Quarterback Success Stories in the NFL

Colan LamontAnalyst IIJuly 23, 2012

Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst passes upfield in the 2005 Champs Sports Bowl December 27 in Orlando. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Clemson consistently produces NFL players who can thrive against elite competition.

Yet, quarterback seems to be the only position that no former Clemson player excels in.

Throughout the years, Clemson has produced quality receivers like Jacoby Ford and Dwight Clark, elite components to a secondary like Terry Kinard, and generally, just sent talented players of all positions to the next level.

Clemson is a huge team, and it perplexes me why there isn't a quarterback success story in the NFL that they can brag about.

Charlie Whitehurst has flattered to then only deceive NFL fans that he can be a consistent signal-caller against the very best competition the sport has to offer.

From looking online at, I can only see a total of four Clemson quarterbacks who had experience in the NFL, and all of their stats sheets make for grim reading.

Steve Fuller was the first-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1979 and compiled pretty bad numbers over a seven-year career, totaling only 28 touchdowns compared to 41 interceptions, worth a quarterback rating of only 70.1.

Unfortunately, I cannot find any stats for Harvey White other than that he threw for only 44 yards in his career with the Boston Patriots..

Charley Sarrat precedes both Fuller and White; he was a member of the Detroit Lions in the 1948 season, in which he only threw one pass all year.

The most recent Clemson quarterback to hit a brick wall in the NFL is Whitehurst.

Whitehust has managed only three touchdowns, four picks and a measly quarterback rating of 64.6.


A third-round pick back in 2006, Whitehurst is now a backup for the San Diego Chargers who drafted him six years ago in the third round of the NFL draft.

You may have expected more from a four-year starter at Clemson who earned 41 school records.

Despite throwing way too many interceptions, even in college, Whitehurst had prototypical NFL size and adequate arm strength.

The sole hope for possible NFL success from a former Clemson quarterback may come as early as April 2013—the first time that Tajh Boyd will be both eligible and decorated enough for professional football.

Despite having a strong running game and some tremendous wideouts, it's clear to see that Boyd is among the finest of college quarterbacks around.

In a recent interview I conducted with Boyd, it was clear to me he had all the character traits to be a success in the NFL.

He may not be the biggest, but he possesses most of the prerequisite talents that NFL evaluators look for whether it be athletic ability, arm strength or leadership.

I may be getting ahead of myself by already proclaiming Boyd a future NFL quarterback, but I really feel he's the best bet for Clemson in a very long time.

But the question that really needs to be answered is this: Why can't Clemson produce NFL quarterbacks?

I mean, you have a history of giving gifts to the NFL like Terry Allen, Jeff Bostic, Brian Dawkins, Michael Perry and Levon Kirkland.

The were all elite players in their primes who played different positions, so why no quarterbacks?