Football Writers Association of America Oct. 4, 2005
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson
Sophomore linebacker helps Deacs upset Clemson

DALLAS (FWAA) Wake Forest linebacker Jon Abbate (Powder Springs, Ga.) was named the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Demon Deacons' 31-27 win over Clemson this past Saturday.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy

Abbate, a 5-11, 245-pound sophomore, intercepted two passes and made 13 tackles. Both of his interceptions came in the first quarter as he became the first Wake Forest player to pick off two passes in a quarter since 2002. After the game, he needed four stitches to patch up a cut on the bridge of his nose.

Abbate has been added to the Watch List for the 2005 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which will be presented to the best defensive player in college football on Dec. 5 by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club. The presentation will take place at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis will be the keynote speaker at the event this year.

For the fifth straight season, the All-America committee of the FWAA will select the winner of the weekly award on behalf of the Charlotte Touchdown Club. The winner is announced each Tuesday throughout the season from nominations made by the 11 Division I-A conferences and member schools.

Last season, Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson won the coveted Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the 10th season the FWAA has named a national defensive Player of the year.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 900 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game day operations, major awards, a national poll and its annual All-America team.

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, N.C. region. The club's activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship, scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and coaches. For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is

For more information on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, contact FWAA executive director Steve Richardson (972-713-6198 or

2005 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
Sept. 10: Dion Byrum, Ohio
Sept. 17: A.J. Nicholson, Florida State
Sept. 24: Ben Moffitt, South Florida
Oct. 1: Jon Abbate, Wake Forest
Oct. 8: Tim McGarigle, Northwestern
Oct. 15: Bobby Carpenter, Ohio State
Oct. 22: Herschel Henderson, Northwestern
Oct. 29: Michael Johnson, Arizona
Nov. 5: A.J. Davis, North Carolina State