Clemson first-team All-American DeAndre McDaniel and starting defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins will both return for their senior seasons. Both players met with Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney on Tuesday and informed Swinney of their respective decisions.
McDaniel will be the first returning first-team All-American to the Clemson program since Anthony Simmons in 1997. Simmons was a first-team selection as a sophomore in 1996 by The Sporting News, then was a consensus All-American and first-round draft choice as a junior in 1997.
McDaniel will be a prime candidate for the Thorpe Award in 2010. Next year, he has a chance to join Terry Kinard and Donnell Woolford as the only two-time first-team All-America defensive backs in Clemson history.
McDaniel had eight interceptions this year to lead the ACC and rank fourth in the nation. The total tied the Clemson single season record. The native of Tallahassee, FL was named a first-team All-American by the Football Writers Association. He was also a second-team All-American by Si.com, and College Football News, and was a third team pick by Sporting News. He was a first-team All-ACC selection as well.
McDaniel was a big reason Clemson finished sixth in the nation in pass defense and 20th in total defense this season. He was fourth on the Clemson team in tackles with 102, including 74 first hits, which ranked second on the team. He is the first player in Clemson history to record at least eight interceptions and 100 tackles in the same year.
The safety had six tackles and two interceptions in the win over eighth ranked Miami (FL) and was named National Defensive Player of the Week by the Bronko Nagurski Award committee. He is also a candidate for the 2009 National Defensive Back of the Year Award by the College Football Performance Awards.
“I want to help Clemson to an ACC Championship and get my degree,” said McDaniel, who is slated to graduate from Clemson in August. “We got close this year and now we are all even more hungry to take it one more step and bring an ACC championship to Clemson.”
“DeAndre should be one of the top defensive players in the nation next year,” said Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney. “People forget last year was his first year playing the safety position. He will benefit even more by another year.”
Jenkins was Clemson’s top tackler among defensive linemen with 69 stops, including 11 tackles for loss, tied for second best on the team. Jenkins was an honorable mention All-ACC defensive tackle in 2009. He was ranked as the fourth best junior defensive tackle in the nation by Mel Kiper at the end of the season.
**From Clemson SID**