DALLAS (FWAA) Five finalists for the 2009 Bronko Nagurski Trophy were announced on Thursday by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
Iowa linebacker Pat Angerer, Tennessee strong safety Eric Berry, Alabama defensive tackle Terrence Cody, TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes and Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh are vying for one of the FWAA's highest honors, its National Defensive Player of the Year award.
The winner will be announced on Dec. 7 and presented the Bronko Nagurski Trophy at a gala banquet at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C., where North Carolina State coach Tom O'Brien will be the keynote speaker.
In addition, the FWAA and Charlotte Touchdown Club will present the third Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, presented by CSX Intermodal, to Roger Wehrli, a standout defensive back at the University of Missouri. Wehrli was a member of the 1968 FWAA All-America team.
The FWAA's National Defensive Player of the Year Award is named after Bronko Nagurski, who dominated college football at Minnesota as a bruising fullback and defensive tackle from 1927-29. He could have been an All-American at any position playing 60 minutes and was the best player wherever he lined up.
A look at the five 2009 Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalists, as selected by the FWAA All-America Committee:
Pat Angerer, Linebacker, Iowa, 6-1, 235, Sr. (Bettendorf, Iowa): The top tackler for a 9-2 Iowa team, which won its first nine games of the season. He leads the Hawkeyes with 119 total tackles (79 assisted and 40 unassisted), two tackles for loss (one sack), five passes defended and two forced fumbles. Iowa is 17th in the country in scoring defense.
Eric Berry, Safety, Tennessee, 5-11, 203, Jr. (Fairburn, Ga.): An FWAA All-American in 2008 as a sophomore, he has 70 tackles this season, 44 unassisted, 26 assisted. He has five tackles for loss, two interceptions and six passes broken up for the Volunteers under first-year coach Lane Kiffin. He also has recovered three fumbles and has three quarterback hurries.
Terrence Cody, Tackle, Alabama, 6-5, 365, Sr. (Fort Myers, Fla.): A member of the FWAA All-America team last season, he holds down the Alabama rush defense, which is second in the country. Alabama is second in the country in total defense as well. Cody blocked two field goals in victory over Tennessee, including the potential game-winner as time expired. He has 20 tackles, five for 10 yards in losses, one pass break-up and two quarterback hurries for the unbeaten Crimson Tide.
Jerry Hughes, End, TCU, 6-3, 257, Sr. (Sugar Land, Texas): A Nagurski Trophy finalist for the second straight season, he is the mainstay of a TCU defense, which has led the Horned Frogs to an unbeaten season. TCU is fourth in the country in total defense and sixth in the country in rush and pass defense. Hughes has 49 tackles, 13 tackles for 73 yards in losses (10.5 sacks), one pass broken up, six quarterback hurries and one forced fumble.
Ndamukong Suh, Tackle, Nebraska, 6-4, 300, Sr. (Portland, Ore.): Leads Nebraska in tackles with 31 unassisted and 25 assisted. He has 13 tackles for 47 yards in losses (five sacks), eight pass breakups, 19 hurries, one forced fumble and three blocked kicks. Nebraska ranks 10th in the country in total defense and 11th in country in rush defense.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is www.touchdownclub.com.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization
founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,100 men and women 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 gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America
team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve
Richardson at email@example.com or 972-713-6198.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game's predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association's official Web site, ncfaa.org.