A lot of people don’t realize this, but Da’Quan Bowers was the first Clemson football player to win a national individual award in 28 years when he won the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation’s best defensive player in 2010.
Bowers, who now coaches on Jeff Scott’s staff at South Florida, was an All-American defensive end for the Tigers in 2010. He was just the fourth unanimous All-American in Clemson history at the time, joining safety Terry Kinard (1982), defensive end Gaines Adams (2006) and running back C.J. Spiller (2009).
As mentioned, Bowers was the first Clemson player to win a national award since Kinard was named CBS’ Defensive Player of the Year in 1982. Bowers won the Bronko Nagurski Award after he led the nation in sacks with 15 and was second nationally with 26.5 tackles for loss. His 2010 season is considered one of the greatest individual seasons in Clemson history by a defensive player.
Bowers also recorded 74 overall tackles and had 20 more quarterback pressures. The Bamberg, S.C., native also had one interception and broke up two passes on a Clemson defense that allowed just 18.7 points per game.
Bowers was a second-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011, the No. 51 overall pick, and played four years in the NFL. He returned to Clemson in 2018 and earned his degree last December.
While getting his degree at Clemson, Bowers was a voluntary coach on the Tigers’ defensive staff the last two seasons where he helped with the defensive ends. Bowers earned a national championship ring in 2018 by helping coach the defensive line.
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