He became the first defensive lineman in school history to score a touchdown out of an offensive formation so it makes sense that Clemson defensive end Christian Wilkins would be up for the Paul Hornung Award which goes to college football's most versatile player.
Wilkins scored his historic touchdown against Troy. He also had a 10-yard carry against N.C. State on a fake punt. In that same game, he blocked a field goal.
At his full-time time on defense, the Springfield, Massachusetts native recorded 56 tackles last season with 13 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He had 20 quarterback pressures and set a Clemson record for a defensive end with 10 passes broken up.
In Clemson's run to the national championship season, Wilkins was named a first-team All-American by the AFCA, Football Writers Association and Phil Steele. He was named a second-team All-American by several publications including USA Today.
In other watch list news, Clemson linebacker Kendall Joseph is on that list for the Butkus Award which is named after the former Chicago Bear great. Mirroring the legendary “51” pro jersey of the award’s namesake Dick Butkus whom NFL Films considers the best defensive player in football history, each watch list features 51 players identified by a 51-person selection panel of deeply experienced coaches, talent evaluators and journalists.