CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson great Levon Kirkland has been added to the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot, the The National Football Foundation announced Monday.
This is the second straight year Kirkland has been named to the ballot.
A 2019 Clemson Ring of Honor Inductee, Kirkland was a two-time All-American selection and a three-time All-ACC pick during his four years as a Tiger. He helped lead Clemson to two ACC Championships, while also playing on arguably the greatest defense in Clemson history.
After redshirting in 1987, Kirkland eventfully became a starting outside linebacker on the 1988 team, which went 10-2 and beat Oklahoma in the 1989 Citrus Bowl.
The Tigers also produced a 10-2 mark in 1989, which concluded with a 27-7 win over West Virginia in the 1989 Gator Bowl. Kirkland was named the game’s MVP after he and the Clemson defense shutdown Heisman Trophy Finalist Major Harris.
In 1990, Clemson owned the nation’s best defense as the Tigers led the country in total defense and ranked in the top 5 in several other categories. Kirkland was a finalist for the Butkus Award that season and was a second-team All-American.
The Tigers concluded another top 10 season with a 10-2 record and a win over Illinois in the Hall of Fame Bowl.
In 1991, Clemson finished second nationally in total defense and led the country in rushing defense, while again ranking in the top 5 in several other categories. Kirkland earned Consensus All-American status, while the Tigers won the 1991 ACC Championship and finished the year 9-2-1 overall.
Kirkland was a second-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers after his college career. He played nine years in Pittsburgh and then one season each in Seattle and Philadelphia.
He was an All-Pro for the Steelers and played in the Pro Bowl several times. At one point, he was considered the best inside linebacker in the NFL. He helped guided the Steelers to Super Bowl XXX in 1995.
Kirkland is also a member of the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame, as well as the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame and the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame.