Clemson icon ‘Black Cat’ Barton dies at 90

Field Level Media

March 21, 2020 at 11:39 pm.

Former Clemson All-American Thomas “Black Cat” Barton has died, the university announced Saturday. Barton was 90.

Clemson said Barton died peacefully on Wednesday.

Barton, who played for the Tigers from 1949-52, was dubbed “Black Cat” by legendary Clemson coach Frank Howard because of his “dark hair and quick first step on the gridiron.”

Barton was part of Clemson’s undefeated team (9-0-1) in 1950 and earned second-team All-American honors in 1952. He was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987.

Barton was a sixth-round pick (66th overall) in the 1953 NFL Draft but suffered a career-ending knee injury in the College All-Star Game in July of 1953.