Rock Hill native among Nagurski Trophy hopefuls, Te'o wins - | WBTV Charlotte

Rock Hill native among Nagurski Trophy hopefuls, Te'o wins


Five players were up for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, an honor that goes to the nation's top defensive player, including a college sophomore from Rock Hill.

The award was presented at a banquet tonight at the Westin Hotel, here in Charlotte.

Notre Dame star Manti Te'o won the award,  he also won the Butkus Award given to the nation's top linebacker. He also picked up a trip to New York as one of the finalists for the Heisman Trophy!

University of South Carolina sophomore and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney had a stellar regular season. Clowney was a defensive end for Rock Hill's South Pointe High School.

He was considered the nation's top football recruit in 2011.

The statistics haven't shown it per se, but Clowney has been the key in the Gamecocks' disruptive pass rush. Clowney is third in the Southeastern Conference with 9.5 sacks and is half a sack away from tying the single-season school record.

Other players listed as finalists were Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones, Alabama defensive back Dee Milliner, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner.

Clowney has also been named a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, another award that honors defensive players.  He is also a finalist for the Lombardi Award.

The SEC conference named Jadeveon Clowney Co-Defensive Player of the Week and Defensive Lineman of the Week in the last week of regular season play.

The 6'6", 256 pound sophomore set the school record for sacks in a game with 4.5 and broke the school record for sacks in a season with 13 in the Gamecocks' 27-17 win at Clemson.

He totaled seven tackles, including six solo stops, and was also credited with a quarterback pressure.

The sack total was also a Clemson Memorial Stadium record.

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