John Maxwell
Maxwell cropped from 1902 team photo
Clemson TigersNo. N/A
Quarterback Graduate
Major: {{{major}}}
Date of birth:
Career history
Clemson (1902–1903)
Career highlights and awards
*SIAA championship (1902, 1903)

John Maxwell was a college football player.

Clemson College


Maxwell was an All-Southern[1] quarterback for John Heisman's Clemson Tigers of Clemson University, a member of its athletic Hall of Fame.[2]


Maxwell started every game in 1902.[3] The Tigers closed the season with an 11 to 0 win over the Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee back A. H. Douglas holds the record for the longest punt in his school's history, when he punted a ball 109 yards (the field length was 110 yards in those days) with the help of the wind during the Clemson game.[4][5][6] Heisman described the kick:

...One quick glance he cast overhead– no doubt to make sure that howling was still the same old hurricane. I knew at once what he proposed to do. The snap was perfect. "Toots" caught the ball, took two smart steps and – BLAM!–away shot the ball as though from the throat of Big Bertha. And, say, in his palmiest mathematical mood, I don't believe Sir Isaac Newton himself could have figured a more perfect trajectory to fit with that cyclone. Onward and upward, upward and onward, the crazy thing flew like a brainchild of Jules Verne. I thought it would clear the Blue Ridge Mountains. Our safety man, the great Johnny Maxwell, was positioned 50 yards behind our rush line, yet the punt sailed over his head like a phantom aeroplane. Finally, it came down, but still uncured of its wanderlust it started in to roll–toward our goal, of course, with Maxwell chasing and damning it with every step and breath. Finally it curled up and died on our one-footline, after a bowstring journey of just 109 yards.[7]

Both Maxwell and Douglas were selected All-Southern in different publications.[8]


He returned the kickoff to open the second half 100 yards for Clemson's first score in the 1903 game with Cumberland billed as the championship of the South which ended in an 11–11 tie.[9][10] It was John Heisman's last game as Clemson head coach.[9]


He was also a catcher on the baseball team.[11]


  1. e. g. "Sadler Is Made Captain of All-Southern Team". Atlanta Constitution. November 29, 1903.
  2. "Clemson Athletics Hall of Fame".
  3. Kyle King. Fighting Like Cats and Dogs. p. 33.
  4. Wiley Lee Umphlett (1992). Creating the Big Game: John W. Heisman and the Invention of American Football. pp. 64–65. ISBN 9780313284045.
  5. "Records". p. 324. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.
  6. "Prodigious Kick". Schenectady Gazette. October 10, 1934.,4888093.
  7. John M. Heisman. Heisman: The Man Behind the Trophy. pp. 104–105.
  8. "From Southeastern College Teams The Constitution Selects An Eleven". Atlanta Constitution. December 1, 1902.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Lou Sahadi (2014-10-01). 100 Things Clemson Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. ISBN 9781623689490.
  10. Wiley Lee Umphlett (1992). Creating the Big Game: John W. Heisman and the Invention of American Football. p. 67. ISBN 9780313284045.

Template:1902 College Football Composite All-Southerns Template:1903 College Football Composite All-Southerns

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