COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney has been named to the preseason watch list for the Ted Hendricks defensive end of the year award.
Clowney is the defending Hendricks Award winner. Last season, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting after notching 54 tackles, including a school record 23.5 tackles for loss and a school record 13 quarterback sacks.
The unanimous first-team All-American a year ago is part of several national preseason watch lists including the Maxwell, Bednarik, Rotary Lombardi, Walter Camp and Nagurski awards.
The media frenzy circling around Clowney has intensified by the day since his Outback bowl hit on Michigan's Vincent Smith that earned an ESPY for play of the year from ESPN.
A crush of cameras and reporters, including a crew from ESPN, tracked Clowney's every movement at South Carolina's Media Day on Sunday.
Coach Steve Spurrier says he is doing his best to slow down the Clowney media train but hasn't been successful.
"We've talked about him for the last seven months after that hit. He and Johnny Football are the only two guys in America that people are talking about. Jadeveon's hit and Johnny's adventures," said Spurrier. "I think Jadeveon is tired of everybody talking about him. He's ready for team and what we can achieve this year. He's ready to go. He's had a good summer. We all know he's a super player, but it's a team sport. Football is the ultimate team sport. It takes a lot of guys."
Clowney did not take participate in Sunday's practice due to a knee issue. However, he did work out with strength and conditioning coaches during the practice session.
The Ted Hendricks Award is named in honor of college footballâ??s first three-time first-team All-American. Hendricks starred at the University of Miami and played in 215 consecutive games over a 15 year professional career. Hendricks' career included four Super Bowl victories, eight Pro Bowl selections and inductions into the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.