Clemson's "Slash" named to Paul Hornung watch list


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Christian Wilkins at the ACC Kicoff last week (Photo by Jeremy Brevard, USA Today)

Clemson, S.C.—Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins has been named to the Paul Hornung Award Watch List for 2017. The junior from Springfield, Mass. is one of just 10 defensive players on the Watch List and one of just three players listed who saw time on offense and defense last year.

The Hornung Award is presented each year to the player who is regarded as the top all-purpose player in the nation. It is named after former Notre Dame Heisman Trophy winner Paul Hornung, who was known for his all-around abilities at the college and professional level.

Wilkins was a first-team All-American defensive end and finalist for the Nagurski Award last year when he helped the Tigers to the National Championship. He had 56 tackles, including a team best 13 tackles for loss and 10 passes broken up. His 10 pass deflections were a record for a Clemson defensive lineman and most among defensive linemen nationally last year.

Offensively, Wilkins caught a touchdown pass, had a 10-yard run and was a lead blocker along with fellow lineman Dexter Lawrence in many short yardage situations. He also caught a 31-yard pass in the Orange Bowl against Oklahoma as a freshman in 2015.

Wilkins has also been named to the preseason watch lists for the Lott (top defensive player) Trophy, the Outland Trophy (top interior lineman) and the Bednarik (top defensive player) awards. He is ranked as the No. 8 player in the nation by ESPN entering the 2017 season.

2017 Watch List Selections:
Jaire, Alexander, Louisville
Kalen Ballage, Arizona State
Braxton Berrios, Miami
Evan Berry, Tennessee
Antonio Callaway, Florida
Parris Campbell, Ohio State
Andrew Celis, Nevada
Jared Cornelius, Arkansas
Nacarius Fant, WKU
Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
George Frazier, Colorado
LaQuivonte Gonzalez, Kansas
Janarion Grant, Rutgers
Derrius Guice, LSU
Quadree Henderson, Pitt
Derwin James, Florida State
Richie James, Middle Tennessee
D'Ernest Johnson, USF
Kerryon Johnson, Auburn
Xaiver Johnson, South Alabama
Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
Keith Kirkwood, Temple
DJ Moore, Maryland
Jamal Morrow, Washington State
Charles Nelson Oregon
Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
Dante Pettis, Washington
Darius Phillips, Western Michigan
Tony Pollard, Memphis
De'Mornay Pierson-El, Nebraska
Byron Pringle, Kansas State
Trever Ryen, Iowa State
Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
Jaylen Samuels, NC State
Jeff Smith, Boston College
Allenzae Staggers, Southern Mississippi
Greg Stroman, Virginia Tech
Blaise Taylor, Arkansas State
Kavontae Turpin, TCU
Tre Watson, California
Braeden West, SMU
Jordan Whitehead, Pitt
Christian Wilkins, Clemson
Devonte Williams, Indiana
Cedrick Wilson, Boise State
Shaun Wilson, Duke

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