Once the raw emotions subsided, few enjoyed Clemson’s national championship victory more than Christian Wilkins.
The Clemson senior defensive lineman and Springfield, Mass., native was the star of the show Monday night during and immediately after his team’s 44-16 win over Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. ESPN cameras were trained on Wilkins late in the fourth quarter when he began crying, as the prospect of the second national championship of his career ticked toward reality.
After shedding those tears of joy, Wilkins started having the time of his life. ESPN was interviewing Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney postgame on the winners’ podium when Wilkins gave him a wet willy, an old favorite among pranksters.
Wilkins wasn’t done yet. As teammate Clelin Ferrell was talking to ESPN, Wilkins joined him in mimicking Death Row Records founder Suge Knight’s shade-filled recruitment speech at the 1995 Source Awards.
While Wilkins didn’t repeat the glorious split he performed after Clemson beat Alabama in the 2017 National Championship Game, he produced a number of memories, at which New England should smile, on the field and off it.