Football Writers Association of America Nov. 21, 2001
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson
Two Oklahoma standouts make the cut

DALLAS (FWAA) – Oklahoma safety Roy Williams and Sooners linebacker Rocky Calmus were among five finalists named on Tuesday for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is awarded annually to the best defensive player in college football.

The other finalists are all defensive ends: North Carolina's Julius Peppers, Syracuse’s Dwight Freeney and Florida’s Alex Brown.

The FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will award the Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Dec. 10 at a banquet in Charlotte, N.C. The FWAA has presented a Defensive Player of the Year Award since 1993.

Alex Brown

Alex Brown, Florida, DE, 6-4, 254, Sr. (White Springs, Fla.)
Brown leads the Gators with 10.5 sacks and 13.5 total tackles for loss this year. He has 47 tackles on the year, tops amongst Florida’s defensive linemen. His 34.5 "big plays" are eight more than any other Gator. His "big plays" are comprised of 10.5 sacks, three other tackles for loss, 13 forced hurries, one forced fumble, three blocked kicks and four pass deflections. He is Florida’s all-time leader in career sacks with 33, including a school-record 13 in 1999. His 46 career tackles for loss rank sixth in Florida history.

Rocky Calmus

Rocky Calmus, Oklahoma, LB, 6-3, 234, Sr. (Tulsa)
Calmus is Mr. Steady in Oklahoma’s defense. He has 109 tackles, 68 unassisted. He has 12 tackles for loss for minus-40 yards, four sacks for minus-30, and one interception for 33 yards. In addition, Calmus has broken up eight passes and registered 10 quarterback hurries. He has two fumble recoveries for 14 yards in losses and a touchdown. He has one blocked kick. Both he and teammate Roy Williams play on special teams.

Dwight Freeney

Dwight Freeney, Syracuse, DE, 6-2, 250, Sr. (Bloomfield, Conn.)
This season Freeney leads the nation with 16.5 sacks. The sack total is a Syracuse single-season record. Freeney is a half sack away from tying the Big East single-season record of 17.0 set by Virginia Tech's Corey Moore in 1999. He has 47 total tackles (32 unassisted), seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Rutgers coach Greg Schiano called him the best pass rusher in the nation.

Julius Peppers

Julius Peppers, North Carolina, DE, 6-6, 285, Jr. (Bailey, N.C.)
Listed No. 1 on Mel Kiper’s list of NFL Draft prospects. Named FWAA-Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week following Carolina’s 41-9 win over then-No. 6 Florida State. Named ACC Defensive Line Player of the Week following Carolina’s 38-3 win at Clemson Made a remarkable interception of a Woody Dantzler's pass in the Clemson game, tossing aside two blockers, batting the ball in the air and then lunging on his knees for the interception.

Roy Williams

Roy Williams, Oklahoma, S, 6-0, 221, Jr. (Union City, Calif.)
Former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer calls him the best defensive player he has ever seen. Williams has 92 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, two sacks, 20 passes broken up, five interceptions for 25 yards in returns, and two fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown. He has three quarterback hurries. Williams was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated for his hit on Texas quarterback Chris Simms. Williams’ hit caused an interception resulting in a Sooner touchdown in the 14-3 victory over Texas.

Related Links:
Charlotte Touchdown Club
FWAA awards calendar