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)
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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