Clowney, a 6-foot-6, 256-pound sophomore and an All-SEC first-team selection this season, broke school records with 13 sacks and 21 1/2 tackles for loss.
"Jadeveon Clowney is an explosive football player who is always in pursuit of the ball," said Hendricks Award officials in a statement Wednesday. "With his extra arm and torso length, as well as outstanding quickness, he is able to shed blockers, fire off the edge and pursue the ball carrier aggressively with purpose. He has a constant motor, a strong work ethic and never seems to tire.
"He gave opposing blockers nightmares all season. If they blinked, Jadeveon was already past them."
Clowney received two-thirds of the vote from the committee. Other players considered were Southern California's Morgan Breslin, Florida State's Tank Carradine and Bjoern Werner, Louisiana State's Sam Montgomery and Texas A&M's Damontre Moore.
The award, presented annually since 2002, is named for former Miami (Fla.) defensive end Ted Hendricks, who has been inducted into both the collegiate and pro football halls of fame.