Three Tigers named finalist for prestigious post-season awards

Three Tigers named finalist for prestigious post-season awards

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Three Tigers named finalist for prestigious post-season awards

Three Clemson players were named finalist Monday for three major college football awards, including defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, who was named a finalist for two.

Wilkins was joined by running Travis Etienne and linebacker Tre Lamar as a finalist for the Bednarik Award, the Outland Trophy, the Butkus Award and the Doak Walker Award.

Wilkins was named a finalist for the Bednarik and the Outland Trophy Awards. The Bednarik goes to the best defensive player in the country, while the Outland Trophy goes to the most outstanding interior lineman.

Wilkins is the third player in Clemson history to be named an Outland finalist, joining defensive tackle Michael Dean Perry (1987) and offensive tackle Stacy Long (1990). If Wilkins were to win the award, he would become the first player in school history to earn the honor.

Wilkins will attempt to become the first Clemson player in school history to  win the Bednarik win the honor. He is the fourth Clemson player to be named a finalist, joining Vic Beasley (2014), Da’Quan Bowers (2010) and Keith Adams (2000).

In addition to being named as an Outland and Bednarik finalist on Monday, Wilkins is a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, the Nagurski Trophy and the Senior CLASS Award.

This season, Clemson’s coaching staff has credited Wilkins with 46 tackles (12.0 for loss), 10 quarterback pressures, 4.0 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Wilkins also became the first Clemson defensive lineman in the two-platoon era to score a rushing touchdown when he scored on a one-yard touchdown run at Florida State.

Etienne is a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, given each year to the nation’s premier running back. He becomes only the second player in Clemson history to be named as finalist for the award and will attempt to become the first Clemson player to win it. C.J. Spiller was one of three finalists for the award in 2009.

This season, Etienne has rushed 136 times for an ACC-best 1,157 yards with a school-record-tying 17 rushing touchdowns and caught nine passes for 56 yards with a receiving touchdown. He reached the 1,000-yard mark on his 117th carry of the season against Boston College, becoming the fastest to 1,000 rushing yards in a season in school history.

Earlier on Monday, middle linebacker Tre Lamar was named a finalist for the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s best linebacker.

Lamar is only the fourth player in school history to be named a Butkus finalist, joining Dorian O’Daniel (2017), Keith Adams (2000) and Levon Kirkland (1990). Lamar and O’Daniel became the first Clemson duo to be named finalists in back-to-back years. If Lamar were to win the award, he would become the first player in school history to earn the honor.

Lamar has been credited by Clemson’s coaching staff with 65 total tackles this season, second-most on the team. He has contributed seven quarterback pressures, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks and an interception, which he returned 43 yards to set up a Clemson score at Florida State.

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