The Clemson football team has been nominated for four ESPY Awards, including “Best Team” and “Best Upset,” according to a network announcement on Wednesday.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson, who helped guide the Tigers to a 35-31 upset of Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, was nominated in two categories: “Best Male College Athlete” and “Best Championship Game Performance.”
The ESPY Awards Show will be held on Wednesday, July 12 in Los Angeles.
In the “Best Team” category, Clemson will be competing against the University of South Carolina Women’s Basketball team, which won the NCAA title on April 2, as well as the Chicago Cubs, New England Patriots, Golden State Warriors, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team.
Joining Clemson as finalists in the “Best Upset” category are Mississippi State’s win against Connecticut in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and Denis Istomin’s Australian Open win against Novak Djokovic.
For “Best Championship Game Performance,” Watson will be contending against Tom Brady of the Patriots, Shay Knighten of Oklahoma in the Women’s College World Series, and Kevin Durant of the Warriors in the NBA Championship Series.
In addition to Watson, other nominees for “Best Male College Athlete” are Ian Harkes of Wake Forest soccer, Frank Mason of Kansas basketball, Matt Rambo of Maryland lacrosse and Zain Retherford of Penn State wrestling.
In Clemson’s title game victory, which capped a 14-1 season and gave the Tigers their first national championship in 35 years, Watson completed 36 of 56 passes for 405 yards and three touchdowns against Alabama’s No. 1-ranked defense. He also rushed for 43 yards and another score.
Fans will have the chance to select the winners by voting online or via mobile at: ESPN.com/ESPYS
Scott Keepfer, The Greenville News