Clowney a first-teamer on Steele's preseason All-America squad

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7)
South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7) gmelendez@thestate.com

South Carolina junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has been selected to Phil Steele’s 2013 preseason first-team All-America squad, it was announced Wednesday.

Clowney, a 6-6, 274-pounder from Rock Hill, S.C., was a unanimous All-America selection as a sophomore last season. The SEC's Defensive Player of the Year finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting after recording 54 tackles, including a school record 23.5 tackles for loss and a school record 13.0 quarterback sacks. He was the 2012 recipient of the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation’s top defensive end.

Clowney was the lone Gamecock who earned a spot on Steele’s preseason first-team All-SEC squad, which was announced on Tuesday. Tight end Rory Anderson, offensive guard A.J. Cann and defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles all earned second-team All-SEC recognition by Steele.

Anderson, a 6-5, 242-pounder from Powder Springs, Ga., has shown a big play ability in his two seasons in the Garnet & Black. He has averaged 20.9 yards per catch on 22 receptions with eight touchdowns during his Carolina career.

Cann, a 6-4, 314-pound junior from Bamberg, S.C., has started 25 games over the past two seasons, the most among any returning player on the Gamecock roster. Cann has also been a leader in the weight room during the offseason and was presented with the Everyday Hustle Award for the offense at the 2013 Garnet & Black Spring Game.

Quarles, a 6-4, 298-pound defensive tackle from Hodges, S.C., put together a solid season in 2012 with 38 tackles including 8.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks while starting all 11 games in which he appeared. He was recognized as the Everyday Hustle Award winner for the defense at the spring game.

The Gamecocks are coming off their second-straight 11 win season and finished the 2012 campaign ranked seventh in the final USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. They will open the 2013 slate against North Carolina on Thursday, August 29.

-- Here's the full list of all-SEC teams.