Clowney named the nation’s top defensive end

jkendall@thestate.comDecember 5, 2012 

South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7)

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

Gamecocks sophomore Jadeveon Clowney was announced as the Hendricks Award winner on Wednesday morning, marking the first time a sophomore has been tabbed as the nation’s top defensive end by the Hendricks Foundation.

Clowney is the 11th winner of the award and will be presented the trophy in a ceremony which hasn’t been scheduled yet. He set the University of South Carolina’s single-season sacks record this year with 13 and finished second in the SEC in sacks and tackles-for-loss. Already this week, he has been named to the coaches and media All-SEC first teams.

On Monday, Clowney lost out on the Nagurski Trophy, which was presented to Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o. He told The State following that ceremony that he planned to win the Nagurski Trophy next year and that he will enter the 2014 NFL Draft, the first for which he is eligible.

The Hendricks Foundation released a statement in announcing the award that said: “Jadeveon Clowney is an explosive football player who is always in pursuit of the ball. With his extra arm and torso length, as well as outstanding quickness, he is able to shed blockers, fire off the edge and pursue the ball carrier aggressively with purpose. He has a constant motor, a strong work ethic and never seems to tire. He gave opposing blockers nightmares all season. If they blinked, Jadeveon was already past them.”

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