In addition to O’Daniel, the finalists are Micah Kiser of Virginia, Harrison Phillips of Stanford and Mason Rudolph of Oklahoma State.
O’Daniel has been a leader of the Clemson team that is ranked No. 1 in the College Football Playoff Poll, the Associated Press and the Amway Coaches Poll. The Tigers won their third consecutive ACC title with a 38-3 win over No. 7 Miami (FL) last Saturday. Clemson’s defense ranks in the top 10 the nation in scoring defense and total defense.
O’Daniel leads the Clemson team in tackles with 99, including 10.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. He also has three passes broken up, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions. He took both interceptions back for touchdowns, the only linebacker in Clemson history with two interception returns for touchdowns in the same year.
O’Daniel was named a first-team All-American by Sports Illustrated on Thursday and was a finalist for the Butkus Award, which is presented each year to the top linebacker in college football. He was also named a first-team All-American by Bleacher Report.
The Bobby Bowden award recognizes the Division I player who epitomizes a student-athlete as he represents God, his family, his institution and his community. He must conduct himself as an exemplary model in the classroom, on the field, on the campus and in the community.
The award is named after former Florida State University head football coach Bobby Bowden who won two collegiate football national championships. The Award ceremony will take place on January 7, 2018 in Atlanta Georgia.
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson won the award last year.