CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FWAA) – The Charlotte Touchdown Club,
in conjunction with the Football Writers Association of America,
proudly announce Jack Youngblood as recipient of the 2011 Bronko
Nagurski Legends Award, which recognizes the "best of the best"
of defensive football players from the past 40 years.
award will be presented formally during the annual Bronko Nagurski
Trophy Awards Banquet on December 12th at The Westin Hotel.
After a distinguished college career at the University of Florida,
Youngblood was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams as the 20th player
in the first round in the 1971 draft. During his 14-season playing
career, Youngblood earned numerous awards and a reputation for durability.
Youngblood was three-time the winner of Most Valuable Player for
the Rams and significantly contributed to the team’s trip to the
1980 Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Youngblood played
in over 200 games for the Rams while missing only one game.
"My greatest thrill from football definitely came after playing
five championship games and winning the NFC championship that put
us in the Super Bowl. It was awesome, I was always wondering when
it was our time and when we would stop being the bridesmaids," said
Youngblood has stayed active with football since his retirement
in 1985 and is still working with the league and players association,
helping players with traumatic brain injury. When asked what motivates
Youngblood to stay so involved in charitable organizations, he simply
says it is one of his callings. "When much is given, much is required,"
"I was very surprised when I found out I was chosen as the winner
of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award. There are so many qualified
players out there who deserve this award too. It really makes you
smile," Youngblood said.
Youngblood joins a growing list of distinguished Bronko Legends
Award winners including Bubba Smith and Alan Page in 2007, Ted Hendricks
in 2008, Roger Wehrli in 2009 and Mike McCoy in 2010.
The Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by Florida East
Coast Railway, was initially presented in 2007 to players from the
1966 season, the first season the FWAA All-American Teams were separated
into defense and offense.
"Jack Youngblood certainly was a terrific defensive player both
in college and the professional ranks," said Steve Richardson, executive
director of the FWAA. "The FWAA felt he was worthy of All-America
status during his college playing days at Florida, and he certainly
went on to distinguish himself in the NFL. It is an honor to have
a player of his caliber at the Bronko Nagurski banquet in Charlotte.
The Legends Award has added an important component to the Bronko
Nagurski Award, recognizing those players who were the best on the
defensive side of the ball before this award was inaugurated in
Added James R. Hertwig, President of Florida East Coast Railway:
"Jack Youngblood’s contributions as a football player and his numerous
charitable activities make him an ideal recipient for this year’s
Bronko Nagurski Legends Award."