Hawkeye's Clayborn Recognized as National Defensive Performer of the Year

University of Iowa

Iowa's Adrian Clayborn holds up his 2009 National Defensive Performer of the year trophy as he is honored at halftime of Iowa's basketball game against Ohio State Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. (Brian Ray/The Gazette)


By Becky Ogann

IOWA CITY - University of Iowa junior defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn was formally recognized by the College Football Performance Awards as the National Defensive Performer of the Year.

Clayborn was recognized Wednesday during halftime of the Ohio State at Iowa men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Clayborn (6-3, 282) started all 13 games at defensive end for the Hawkeyes as Iowa concluded an 11-2 season with a 24-14 win over Georgia Tech in the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl. Clayborn collected nine tackles in the bowl win and was named Orange Bowl Most Valuable Player.

Clayborn earned first team all-Big Ten honors and was named one of Iowa's permanent team captains. He was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week following Iowa's 15-13 last-second win at Michigan State and he earned Special Teams Player of the Week recognition after leading Iowa's defense in a 21-10 win at Penn State. Clayborn blocked a punt and scored on a 53-yard return against the Nittany Lions.

For the season Clayborn collected 70 tackles, including 20 tackles for loss and 11.5 quarterback sacks. He forced four fumbles, had two pass break-ups and added one fumble recovery.

The CFPA also recognized Iowa defensive back Tyler Sash as one of its Elite Performers for the 2009 season. Sash (6-1, 210) is a sophomore safety from Oskaloosa who led Iowa with six pass interceptions. He was one of 11 defensive backs in the nation to earn Elite status.

Sash ranked third on the team with 85 tackles while starting all 13 games. He tied a school single-game record with three interceptions at Iowa State and had an 86-yard return for a touchdown in a win over Indiana. His 203 return yards in 2009 also established an Iowa season record.

The CFPA has awarded trophies in 20 different categories for the just completed season, including National Performer of the Year (QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas) and Freshman Performer of the Year (LaMichael James, Oregon).

With 20 player conferments this season, CFPA is the most prominent single awards organization in college football. The list of trophy recipients includes three Overall Series winners, five Offensive Series winners, three Defensive Series winners, five Special Teams Series winners, and four Elite Series winners.


Iowa's Rafael Eubanks holds a photo of teammate Adrian Clayborn as he jokes with him during the first half of Iowa's basketball game against Ohio State. (Brian Ray/The Gazette)
The Iowa student section holds up photos of Iowa's Adrian Clayborn as he is given his 2009 National Defensive Performer of the year trophy. (Brian Ray/The Gazette)


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