2017-10-11 / Front Page

Hammond returns to spotlight on field he dominated during his playing career

By SCOTT POWELL
Ledger Staff Writer

Former star Clemson defensive tackle Vance Hammond had a homecoming to remember Saturday.

Hammond joined 2011 Clemson safety Rashard Hall as honorary team captains for the coin toss before the Wake Forest game. Clemson started the tradition as a way to recognize former players for their contributions to the school’s football tradition.

Hammond played on three straight ACC Championship teams from 1986-1988. He was an All-ACC defensive tackle in 1989 and 1990.

“It was a great honor to be an honorary captain. It was an awesome experience for homecoming,” Hammond said. “I started coming to Clemson games in a patrol car when I was nine. My dad was a highway patrolman and directed traffic. I was one of those kids who would slide down the hill on a cardboard box.”

Hammond is now the director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Upstate in Cherokee County.

He set the Clemson record for most sacks by a defensive tackle in 1990 in 12 games. It took Carlos Watkins a total of 15 games to tie the record with 8.5 sacks on last year’s national championship team.

Hammond played three seasons professionally in the CFL and helped the Sacramento Surge win the World League of American Football championship in 1992. He enjoys the opportunity to be around current Clemson players and coaches several times through the year.

“To see how coach Swinney has embraced the players who helped build this program over the years means a lot,” Hammond said. “He has extended a hand of fellowship from the first day he was named head coach. We are all part of something bigger that makes Clemson what it is today.”

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