This is the first time since the 2000 season that Clemson has had a player leave early for the NFL.
"We appreciate the contributions both Donnell and Derrick made to our program the last four years and we wish them well in their pursuit of a professional career," said head coach Tommy Bowden. "Their departure will give some incoming freshmen an opportunity to help our team next year."
"I want to thank all of my coaches, teammates and the Clemson fans for all their support the last four years," said Hamilton, who met with Bowden Friday morning. "Clemson is a great place, I will miss it. It has been a rewarding experience to represent Clemson University."
First-team All-America linebacker Keith Adams was the last to leave after his junior year in 2000. When Adams left, he was drafted by
Tennessee in the sixth round, but did not make a club in 2001. He is now in his third year in the NFL, currently with the Philadelphia Eagles.
This will be the first time since 1998 that Clemson has lost two players with eligibility to the NFL draft. That year Rahim Abdullah and Corey Hulsey both left with one season of eligibility remaining. The only other year Clemson lost two players was in 1990
when Dexter Davis and Chris Gardocki turned professional with a year remaining. Gardocki is still playing in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns.
Prior to this year, Clemson had nine players leave for the NFL with eligibility remaining. Eight of the nine eventually made it
to the NFL. Ronald Williams was the only one who did not, but he played nine years in the Canadian Football League.
Hamilton concluded the season with 62 receptions for 1026 yards and 10 touchdowns. He finished his career as the school's all-time leader in receptions, kickoff return yards, and all-purpose running. He had 167 catches, breaking Rod Gardner's record by one. He joined Gardner as the only players in Clemson history to gain over 1000 yards receiving on one season. His 10 reception touchdowns established a Clemson single season record. He averaged 34.5 yards
per kickoff return this year, including a 100-yard return against North Carolina.
Washington led Clemson's defensive front in tackles with 56 during the 2003 season. He had 10 tackles for loss, including four sacks and led the team in quarterback pressures with 25. He had a season high nine tackles at Wake Forest and had eight in the win over Duke. Washington started all 13 games each of the last two seasons.
Hamilton, Washington Declare for the Draft
CUTigers.com Top Stories
3-22 RECRUITING RADARIn our weekly Recruiting Radar, CUTigers Recruiting Analyst Gary McDaniel updates you on the latest news and intel on the Clemson recruiting front!
CUTigers.comWednesday at 11:14 AM
TIGERS TEE OFF ON C OF CRed-hot ACC Player of the Week Chris Williams hit his 4th and 5th home runs in 8 days and Beer and Davidson also went yard, as #6 Clemson won its 16th of the last 18 games.
CUTigers.comTuesday at 7:48 PM
BROWNELL REMAINS AT CLEMSONDespite widespread speculation about Brad Brownell's job security after a disappointing season, he will remain at Clemson for at least one more season.
TIGERS TAKE SERIES!!!Pat Krall allows just one run and #9 Clemson slugs its way to its 15th win in the last 17 games, taking 2 of 3 from #11 UVA!