The Fifth Down

Awards, meeting on FWAA agenda

The FWAA has named winners of the Bronko Nagurski and Outland Trophies and members of its 63rd FWAA All-America team.

The awards season will continue through December into early January at the association's meeting Jan. 5-9 at the BCS 1-2 game in Glendale, Ariz.

In this issue of The Fifth Down:
President's column: A blast to the past, anyone?
Awards, meeting on FWAA agenda
FWAA names 63rd All-America team
Ohio State's Laurinaitis wins Nagurski Trophy
Wisconsin's Thomas wins Outland Trophy
Nine finalists named for Eddie Robinson Award

The FWAA awards season kicked off on Dec. 4, when Ohio State's sophomore linebacker James Laurinaitis became the first Buckeye to win the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Page 7), which the FWAA awards to the best defensive player in college football.

Next up was the presentation of the FWAA's Outland Trophy (Page 6) on the ESPN College Football Awards Show on Dec. 7. Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas became the first Badger to win the award, which is given to the best interior lineman in college football on either side of the ball.

For the third straight season, the 25- man FWAA All-America Team (Pages 4- 5) was announced on television. During a one-hour ABC special on the afternoon of Dec. 9, the association's 63rd team was presented on a show sponsored by Cingular from the Atlantic Dance Hall on Disney's Boardwalk in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Virginia's Jim Bakhtiar, a member of the 1957 FWAA All-America team, won the FWAA Alumni team award.

On Jan. 2, the 2006 FedEx Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award winner, Clemson's Ray Ray McElrathbey will receive his trophy during the Orange Bowl game between Wake Forest and Louisville.

Nine finalists for the FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award were announced in late November (Page 3). On-line voting by the entire FWAA membership concluded on Dec.6. And the announcement of the winner will be on the evening of Jan. 5.

The FWAA's annual meeting will be Jan. 5-9 in Glendale, Ariz., in conjunction with the Bowl Championship Series 1-2 game.

The FWAA Board meeting will be the afternoon of Jan. 6. And the awards breakfast and meeting will be on Jan. 8, the day of the 1-2 game. SEC commissioner Mike Slive will be present at the breakfast for a discussion of the BCS.

The FWAA Freshman All-America team and the winner of the 2007 Bert McGrane Award also will be announced at the breakfast. The FWAA will also recognize winners of the Best Writing Contest and name the Volney Meece Scholarship winner.

The presentation of the Grantland Rice Super 16 Trophy is tentatively scheduled for the morning of Jan. 9 at the media hotel. The winner will be the FWAA's national champion as selected by 16 FWAA members who vote in the weekly poll.

On Jan. 11 in Omaha, the annual Outland Trophy presentation banquet will be held at the Doubletree Hotel. Wisconsin's Thomas will receive his trophy at the banquet sponsored by the Omaha Sports Committee.

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