South Carolina Football’s GOAT Series: Top-12 defensive ends/EDGE players of all-time

Ranking the top-12 defensive ends/EDGE players in South Carolina football history

South Carolina football's Jadeveon Clowney with a sack against Missouri in 2012. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina football's Jadeveon Clowney with a sack against Missouri in 2012. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports /
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South Carolina football defensive end Cliff Matthews making a tackle against Auburn. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

South Carolina Football’s No. 8 EDGE Player of All-Time:
Cliff Matthews

The epitome of rock solid, Cliff Matthews (2007-2010) was a good player as a four-year starter in Columbia. He spent most of his time with his hand in the dirt but occasionally played as a stand-up linebacker in Ellis Johnson’s system. Matthews was a freshman All-American in 2007 but had his best season as a junior in 2009 when he logged 7 sacks and 10 tackles for loss. His 4 fumble recoveries and 3 forced fumbles both led the team.

Matthews was selected to the All-SEC team after both his junior and senior seasons. His career totals for tackles for loss, sacks, fumble recoveries, forced fumbles, and starts at defensive end all rank in the top-15 in Gamecock history. He had a six-year NFL career after being taken by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2011 NFL Draft.