- Heather Dinich, ESPN Staff Writer
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Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers won the 2010 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which annually is awarded to the best defensive player in college football.
Bowers became the 18th winner of the award as voted upon by the Football Writers Association of America. He received the award on Monday night at a banquet at the Westin Hotel that is sponsored by the Charlotte Touchdown Club. The four other finalists were Auburn tackle Nick Fairley, Georgia linebacker Justin Houston, Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly and LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson.
Bowers was the first Clemson player to be named a finalist for the Nagurski Award since the late Gaines Adams in 2006 when Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis claimed the trophy. Bowers wears the same No. 93 that Adams wore at Clemson. The two players were close friends until Adams, who played for the Chicago Bears, died suddenly last January in South Carolina.
Bowers broke Adams' Clemson school record for sacks by a defensive lineman when he had a sack at Florida State late in the season. He also broke Adams' record for consecutive games with a sack, with nine straight in 2010.
Bowers' father, Dennis, passed away in the summer before the season.
"I have dedicated this year to my dad," Bowers said during the season. "We had many talks on the road this past summer about being in the best shape to improve my quickness and doing all the little things to have a great season in 2010."