HOOVER, Ala. -- Moments make Heisman Trophy campaigns, and in the case of a player who could shatter the award's last glass ceiling, it couldn't be more true.
Fourth quarter. Outback Bowl. A breakdown on Michigan's offensive line allowed Jadeveon Clowney a clear path to running back Vincent Smith as the South Carolina end delivered a bone-crunching hit. Smith's helmet and the ball were knocked lose and Clowney reached down and recovered the fumble.
"The next day, it was on ESPN over and over and over," Clowney said. "I was like 'Well, I know it's a big hit now."
A few million views on YouTube, countless GIFs and a T-shirt later, it became a play that jumpstarted the Gamecocks star's campaign as he tries to become the first strictly defensive player in history to win the Heisman.
"(Clowney) is the best player in the country," said Gamecocks receiver Bruce Ellington. "I watch him on the sideline and it is amazing to me to see a guy that big that moves that fast. I've never seen an...