USC linebacker Eric Norwood and Clemson running back C.J. Spiller have been named to to first team on the Associated Press All-American team.
Spiller is just the third unanimous All-American in Clemson history. He joins Terry Kinard, a unanimous selection as a safety in 1982, and Gaines Adams, a unanimous pick at defensive end in 2006. He is the first Clemson player to make first-team AP All-American since 2006 when Adams was chosen and is the first offensive player to make first-team AP All-American from Clemson since Stacy Seegars in 1991. He is the first back or receiver from Clemson to make first-team AP All-American since Jerry Butler did it in 1978.
Norwood is a three-time first-team All-SEC selection according to the league’s coaches and has been named first-team All-SEC by the Associated Press in each of the last two years after earning second team honors as a sophomore. He was one of five finalists for the 2009 Butkus Award. Norwood is Carolina’s all- time leader in both sacks (29.0) and tackles for loss (54.5) and is the SEC active leader in both categories.
In 2009, Norwood ranks second on the squad with 71 tackles including 49 solo stops. He is third in the SEC in sacks (7.0) and is tied for eighth with 11.5 tackles for loss. He leads the team with two interceptions and with three blocked kicks. He has been credited with 11 quarterback hurries, three pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
I don’t think it is hyperbole to say that these guys are two of the best players we’ve seen at these two programs in a long time. And here is another stat that I think should be mentioned: Norwood graduated Monday and Spiller will graduate on Thursday. Great players on and off the field.