Breeland, Bryant make it a Clemson junior NFL draft jump record

Orange Bowl - Clemson's Bashaud Breeland knocks the ball loose from Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller in the fourth quarter

Photo by Mark Crammer

Orange Bowl - Clemson's Bashaud Breeland knocks the ball loose from Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller in the fourth quarter

Clemson—Clemson Receiver Martavis Bryant and defensive back Bashaud Breeland both intend to enter the NFL draft. They are the second and third Clemson underclassmen, respectively, to turn professional with a year of eligibility remaining. Earlier on Monday All-America receiver Sammy Watkins announced his intention to enter the NFL draft.

The early-entry trio make up a Clemson-first, as the previous high for NFL draft jumps was two (2010, 2003, 1998, 1990).

Both players were big reasons Clemson finished the 2013 season with an 11-2 record, including a Discover Orange Bowl victory over Ohio State.

Bryant, a junior from Calhoun Falls, SC, finished this year with 42 receptions for 846 yards and seven touchdowns. His 19.7 yards per catch ranks ninth in the nation among players with at least 20 receptions. He had his best game of the year in the Thursday night win over Georgia Tech when he had five catches for 176 yards. He finished his career with three catches for 28 yards and two scores in the win over sixth-ranked Ohio State in the Discover Orange Bowl last Friday.

For his career, Bryant had 61 catches for 1,372 yards and 13 scores. His career 22.5 yards per catch figure is the best in Clemson history, breaking Joe Blalock’s record of 20.3 that had stood since 1941.

Breeland was a second-team All-ACC selection this year, who helped the Clemson defense rank 16th in the nation in fewest passing yards allowed for the course of the season. He finished this season with four interceptions and 13 pass deflections to lead the team in both categories.

The native of Allendale, SC has been at Clemson for four years, but he red-shirted the 2010 season. He had eight tackles in Clemson’s win over Ohio State, including a sack on the Buckeye’s next to last drive, a hit that led to a fumble recovery by Spencer Shuey to stop an Ohio State drive. Breeland finished with 74 tackles for the season.

No announcement has come yet from junior defensive end Vic Beasley, who's name has been linked in reports to an early-entry as well.

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Comments » 3

michtiger writes:

Impossible to know what is going on in these two lives but we all know that neither is even listed on the Pro sheets. Someone might take them as projects in the 4+ round but that is not big money territory. Maybe it is school or bad advice but another year could add up to big money. Bryant as the feature receiver can prove he has gotten past the inconsistency and can make the easy catch as well as the tough one. He hopes to make it big when he has 35% less career catches than Watkins had just this year. I hope he avoids the agent, talks to Dabo, tests the water and comes back to have that very good draft. there are 8-10 big names on the board with great evaluations and probably that many more jumping to get out of school. I feel sorry for both because they are making a short term decision and risking a very good long term future. Stay, learn, develop and reap. Good luck.

sanford42 writes:

Probably won't ever hear from them again. It is a shame because they both have the talent to develop further and improve their status. But what can you do when they think they are better than they really are.

lhaselden writes:

Both Bryant and Breeland have been out of HS for 4 years, Breeland had a red shirt year and Bryant went to prep. There are no guarantees that another year would improve their draft status or that either would start for us next year! I wish they would return because they are an asset to the team, but if they are set on going they should go... they should have no regrets they are grown men and need to make the decision that seems best to them. Good luck to them both. I think they have the talent to succeed in the NFL. Both should be in the 3 or 4th round and that might be where they are next year as well.

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