Gamecocks again pick up top honor for freshman
COLUMBIA -- In a testament to South Carolina's recent football recruiting success -- especially in-state -- defensive end Jadeveon Clowney on Wednesday became the second straight USC player to be named Southeastern Conference freshman of the year by the league's football coaches.
Clowney, who is from Rock Hill, was the No. 1 recruit in the country in the Class of 2011, according to Rivals.com, and he played like it.
His 10 tackles for a loss and six sacks were second on the team, behind first-team All-America end Melvin Ingram. His team-best five forced fumbles ranked sixth nationally. The 6-6, 254-pound Clowney was credited with 32 tackles on the season.
Last year, USC running back Marcus Lattimore was selected by the SEC coaches as freshman of the year. Lattimore, who is from Duncan, was the No. 1 recruit in the state of South Carolina, and the No. 10 overall recruit in the Class of 2010, according to Rivals.
For the third straight year, USC has a commitment from the top-rated in-state recruit -- wide receiver Shaq Roland, of Lexington, who is rated the No. 80 overall recruit in the Class of 2012.
The SEC coaches also named Alabama running back Trent Richardson the offensive player of the year, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne the defensive player of the year, Arkansas' Joe Adams the special teams player of the year, and LSU's Les Miles the coach of the year.