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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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
Charlotte Touchdown Club
• FWAA awards calendar