Pollack finalist for Nagurski Trophy
The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the Charlotte Touchdown Club on Monday announced five finalists for the coveted Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which has been awarded annually since 1993 to the best defensive player in college football.
Jonathan Goddard of Marshall, Erasmus James of Wisconsin, Derrick Johnson of Texas, David Pollack of Georgia and Carlos Rogers or Auburn were named the finalists. All five standouts are seniors.
The 6-foot, 245-pound Goddard, has been a one-man wrecking crew this season. He has been among the nation's sack and tackles-for-loss leaders all year. Against Ohio State, he had nine tackles (two for losses), and had a fumble return for a touchdown in a 24-21 loss to the Buckeyes. He also registered three quarterback hurries.
The 6-4, 261-pound James, who was injured last season, is a disrupting force for a unit which is No. 3 in the country in scoring defense and is No. 5 against the pass. At end, he is a big-time sack artist and has been named Big Ten Player of the Week in back-to-back games.
Johnson, a 6-4, 230-pound linebacker, is generally recognized as the top defensive player in the Big 12 Conference. He has more than 100 tackles this season to go with 14 tackles for loss, eight forced fumbles and an interception.
Pollack, a Nagurski Trophy finalist as a sophomore in 2002, is tied for the sack lead in the SEC with 7.5 and is third in the SEC in tackles for loss. The 6-3, 276-pound end could become only the second player in Georgia history to be named an All-American in three straight seasons.
Rogers, a 6-1, 194-pound defensive back, anchors an Auburn defense which is No. 8 nationally against the pass and is tops in the county in scoring defense. He is second in the Southeastern Conference in career pass deflections and is a lockdown corner, who has had only 21 percent of opponents' passes thrown his way.
The FWAA, in conjunction with the Charlotte Touchdown Club, will present the Bronko Nagurski Trophy to the best defensive player in college football on Dec. 6 in Charlotte, N.C., at a gala awards banquet at the Westin Hotel. Last year, Oklahoma defensive back Derrick Strait claimed the Nagurski Trophy, which will be presented for the 10th straight year in Charlotte.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is named for the former University of Minnesota All-American. Nagurski was a consensus All-American defensive tackle in 1929 and also made All-America teams that year as a fullback, the only man ever picked at two positions. He was a charter member of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame. Nagurski died at the age of 81 in January 1980.
Bronko Nagurski Trophy Winners
1993 Rob Waldorf, Arizona
1994 Warren Sapp, Miami
1995 Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
1996 Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
1997 Charles Woodson, Michigan
1998 Champ Bailey, Georgia
1999 Corey Moore, Viginia Tech
2000 Dan Morgan, Miami
2001 Roy Williams, Oklahoma
2002 Terrell Suggs, Arizona State
2003 Derrick Strait, Oklahoma