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ONE DOWN, FOUR TO GO

University of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is officially an All-American … but will he be the Gamecocks’ first unanimous first-team selection?

He sure as hell should be …

Clowney – who leads the NCAA in sacks and tackles for losses – was named to the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) first team All-American squad this week.  Along with the Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News and Walter Camp Football Foundation, the AFCA names one of five All-American teams officially recognized by the NCAA.

If a player makes one of those teams, he’s an All-American.  If he makes at least three, he’s a consensus All-American.  If he makes all five, he’s a unanimous All-American.

Throughout its history, South Carolina has had 20 players named to various first-team All-American squads.  Of those, only three players – George Rogers (1979, 1980), Del Wilkes (1984) and Melvin Ingram (2011) were consensus selections.  USC has never had a unanimous All-American.

In addition to All-American honors, Clowney is also up for the Bednarik (best defensive player), Lombardi (best lineman) and Nagurski (best defensive player) awards.  The 6-foot-6, 256-pound Rock Hill, S.C. native – the former No. 1 national high school recruit and 2011 SEC Freshman of the Year – is also being touted as a possible 2013 Heisman Trophy candidate as well as a possible No. 1 overall NFL draft pick.

All richly deserved …

“He is quite simply the most disruptive force in college football,” our founding editor wrote recently of Clowney.

He’s also on the verge of becoming the most decorated Gamecock ever.

UPDATE: Also on the AFCA first-team All-American squad?  Clemson University quarterback Tajh Boyd and center Dalton Freeman, who somehow managed to beat out Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Barrett Jones of Alabama.

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