COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney heads the list for the Bronko Nagurski Award given to the country's best defensive player.
Clowney was among five finalists for last year's award which was won by Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o. Clowney is the only 1 of the five from 2012 returning to play this fall.
The Football Writers Association of America released its list of 81 players on its watch list Wednesday.
Clowney was the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year and finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting. The 6-foot-6, 274-pound junior was a unanimous All-American selection last season after recording 54 tackles, 13 sacks and a school record of 23 1-2 tackles for loss.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.