DALLAS (FWAA) – Five finalists for the 2002 Bronko Nagurski Trophy,
which is awarded to the best defensive player in college football by the Football Writers
Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club, were announced on Tuesday.
The five finalists are: Maryland linebacker E.J. Henderson, Kansas State cornerback
Terence Newman, Georgia end David Pollack, Arizona State end Terrell Suggs
and Notre Dame cornerback Shane Walton.
The winner will be named on Dec. 9 at a banquet in Charlotte, N.C. All the players are first
time finalists for the FWAA Defensive Player of the Year Award, which is in its 10th year of
existence. Henderson is a repeat FWAA All-American from last season.
The finalists were selected by the FWAA All-America Committee, which is geographically
balanced across the country. Walton and Suggs each won FWAA Defensive Player of the Week
Awards this past season.
Walton, a 5-11, 185-pound senior, was spectacular in several games. He tied a school
record with three interceptions in a Notre Dame victory over Maryland. He had an interception
which sealed a victory over Michigan. He was named the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive
Player of the Week for his performance against the Wolverines.
Newman, a 5-11, 185-pound senior, was voted TBS/Superstation Player of the Game in Kansas
State's 27-20 victory over Southern California. He is among national leaders in passes defensed
with 11 breakups and four interceptions despite teams throwing to the other side of the field
to avoid him. He had a career-high eight tackles in the Wildcats' victory over Nebraska.
Suggs, a 6-3, 242-pound junior, has already set an NCAA Division I-A single-season sack record
with 20 this season. He has 26.5 total tackles for losses in 2002. In a 27-16 victory over Washington,
when Suggs won the FWAA Player of the Week Award, he had 6.5 tackles for losses of 44 yards. He also
has forced five fumbles and intercepted a pass this season.
Pollack, a 6-3, 264-pound sophomore, leads the Southeastern Conference and is fourth nationally in
quarterback sacks. He is Georgia's most active defensive player in virtually every category and is
threatening the Georgia single-season record for sacks. He was CBS Player of the Game with a
interception returned for a touchdown in victory at South Carolina.
Henderson, a 6-2, 250-pound senior, has made 118 tackles this season, 13.5 for 51 yards in losses.
He has five sacks for minus-31 yards. He has also intercepted a pass, broken up four passes and forced
two fumbles. Last season, he was the MVP of the Atlantic Coast Conference.