CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FWAA) Oklahoma safety Roy Williams was
named the best defensive player in college football on Monday night when
he claimed the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
Williams, a 6-1, 221-pound junior, beat out teammate, linebacker Rocky
Calmus, and three defensive ends North Carolina's Julius Peppers, Syracuse's
Dwight Freeney and Florida's Alex Brown to win the award which is presented
by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown
Club. The FWAA has presented a Defensive Player of the Year Award since
Williams was the top player on one of college football's best defenses.
Included in his résumé, was his hit on Texas quarterback Chris Simms near
the goal line which resulted in an OU interception for touchdown by the
Sooners' Teddy Lehman in a 14-3 OU victory.
"There is no doubt that he is the most productive and active defensive
back I've ever watched or been around as far as impacting a game, making
big plays and producing turnovers," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "And
he's the best open-field tackler I've ever seen."
During the 2001 regular season, Williams had 101 tackles (73 unassisted),
11 tackles-for-loss (minus-40 yards), two sacks (minus-16 yards), five interceptions
(25 yards), 22 passes broken up (school record), four quarterback hurries
and three fumble recoveries (25 yards, one touchdown).
Williams has 268 career tackles which is the third highest total for
a defensive back in Oklahoma history. Next season, Williams would need just
23 tackles to move past Zac Henderson into second place among defensive
backs at the school. His 29 career tackles for loss already rank him No.
1 among defensive backs.
During the past season, Williams had two games in which he had double-digit
tackles (15 vs. North Texas and 11 against Texas A&M). Williams returned
a fumble 18 yards for a touchdown in a victory over Kansas State. In the
victory over North Texas, Williams had two interceptions and forced a fumble
which the Sooners recovered.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT OKLAHOMA'S ROY WILLIAMS ...
"If you start picking out awards for the best player in the country,
he's got to be right up there among them." Texas A&M head coach R.C.
"As aggressive a secondary player as you'll find anywhere." Kansas
State head coach Bill Snyder
"I think he's as dominant a defensive back as there is in the country."
Greg Davis, Texas offensive coordinator
"Williams runs a 4.5 40 and benches 400 pounds. That's sprinter speed
and linebacker lumber in an explosively athletic package. Williams defies
labeling." FWAA member Tom Dienhart, The Sporting News
"He can single-handedly screw up an offensive practice." Kansas head
coach and former OU offensive coordinator Mark Mangino
"The 6-1, 221-pound Williams ... should get Heisman consideration."
FWAA member Bruce Feldman, ESPN The Magazine
"He's the best in college (football)." Oklahoma receiver Josh Norman
"Did you see that hit on Chris Simms? Of course you did. How many players
in the country could make that play?" Past FWAA President Ivan Maisel,
FWAA awards calendar