Courtesy of Press Release Clemson Athletics
Michael Dean Perry Named Brian Dawkins Award Winner
CLEMSON, S.C. — Former Clemson All-American and six-time NFL Pro Bowler Michael Dean Perry was named the recipient of the Brian Dawkins Lifetime Achievement Award at the Clemson’s annual football banquet on Sunday night. Since 2013, Head Coach Dabo Swinney has presented the Brian Dawkins Clemson Lifetime Achievement Award to a former Clemson player who exemplifies excellence in the areas of integrity, scholarship, athletics, service, leadership, commitment, dedication, courage, resilience and spirit.
Recipients must be out of school at least 10 years to qualify. Dawkins, who played 16 years in the NFL and was named to nine Pro Bowls and was a finalist for many public service awards, was the first recipient.
Perry played for Clemson between 1984-87 and recorded a still-school-record 61 career tackles for loss. Twenty-eight of those tackles-for-loss were sacks, still tied for second most in Clemson history on a career basis.
During his senior year, he helped the Tigers to a second-straight ACC Championship and a 10-2 record. He had 24 tackles for loss, including 10 sacks from his defensive tackle position and was a finalist for the Outland Trophy, which is given to the top interior lineman in the nation by the Football Writers Association of America.
Perry was also named the ACC Player of the Year in 1987, one of just three Clemson defensive players to win the award. He was also named the team MVP on defense.
In 1988, Perry was the 50th selection in the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. In just his second year, 1989, he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-Pro selection. He also was named first or second-team All-Pro in 1990, 1991 and 1994.
The native of Aiken, S.C. played 10 seasons in the NFL and finished with 61 career sacks, ironically, the same as his tackle-for-loss total at Clemson. He was named to the Pro Bowl six times (1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1996) during his NFL career, second among former Clemson players, trailing only Dawkins.
Overall, Perry played 148 NFL games, 127 as a starter. His 61 sacks are third among former Clemson players in the NFL and his 13 caused fumbles are fifth. He had 534 solo tackles during his NFL career.
At the conclusion of his career, Perry was named to the Clemson Centennial team in 2000, and was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame the same year. He was also named to the All-Decade team for the 1990s by Pro Football Reference. In 2005, Perry was named to the state of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, and in 2016 was inducted into the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame.
Perry and his wife, who live in Charlotte, operate A1 Transportation Company, which specializes in wheelchair transportation.
Brian Dawkins Award Recipients
2013: Brian Dawkins, 1992-952014: Bill Smith, 1977-812015: Warren Forney, 1991-952016: Jerry Butler, 1975-782017: Jeff Davis, 1978-812018: Mark Richardson, 1979-822019: Michael Allen, 1995-982020: Michael Dean Perry, 1984-87
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