All-American Christian Wilkins tossed doughnuts and showed off a victory cigar.
On a chilly, overcast morning, Clemson celebrated its second national football title in three seasons Saturday before thousands of roaring fans in Clemson, S.C. Spectators stood seven or eight deep along the parade route.
Trevor Lawrence, who threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns in the title game against Alabama, rode a flat-bed truck with dozens of teammates.
The parade ended outside the stadium where the players line up to run down the hill before games.
Coach Dabo Swinney accepted the Cotton Bowl trophy for the Tigers’ semifinal pasting of Notre Dame and the national championship prize in a mostly full arena.
Wilkins, Clemson’s heart and soul this season, rode with a box of doughnuts, throwing some to the crowd along the way. He and fellow All-American defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell were caught on the stadium video board taking victory cigars from wrappers and putting the unlit stogies to their mouths as they broke out in conspiratorial laughter.
Wilkins had a tearful outburst on national TV following the 44-16 rout of Alabama on Monday night in Santa Clara. He wanted to clear the air on that one.
“I’m not sorry I cried,” he said. “I’m sorry I’m such an ugly crier.”
The Tigers became the first major school to finish 15-0 since Penn in 1897. The feat had Swinney and several of his players touting Clemson as the best team in college football history.
“I feel like it’s not really up for debate,” Ferrell said.
Alabama’s Ray charged with public intoxication
Alabama defensive lineman LaBryan Ray has been arrested on a public intoxication charge.
Tuscaloosa police spokeswoman Lt. Teena Richardson says Ray was arrested Friday at about 7 p.m. after refusing to leave an establishment at Midtown Village. Security detained him until police arrived.
Officers determined that Ray was intoxicated. He was booked at the Tuscaloosa County Jail on a $500 bond.
Ray was a backup this past season as a sophomore but had 39 tackles, six tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. The former five-star recruit from Madison, Ala., is expected to contend for a starting role next season with Quinnen Williams and Isaiah Buggs leaving.
Alabama coach Nick Saban said in a statement that “we will evaluate what we need to do in terms of appropriate discipline and rehabilitation as we move forward.”
Tide lose another
Alabama cornerback Saivion Smith is entering the NFL draft.
Smith announced his decision Saturday on Twitter, becoming the fifth Crimson Tide underclassmen to turn pro this week.
The junior college transfer played in all 15 games during his lone season at Alabama, starting 12. He had 60 tackles, three interceptions and eight tackles for loss.
Miami adds to offensive staff
The Miami Hurricanes announced the hirings of running backs coach Eric Hickson and offensive line coach Butch Barry on Saturday.
Hickson is a native of nearby Fort Lauderdale and spent 2018 as running backs coach at Kansas State. Barry spent the last four years as an assistant offensive line coach with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He served the previous five seasons at Central Michigan under new Miami offensive coordinator Dan Enos.