Troy Polamalu Named USC MVP

Dec. 16, 2001

All-American junior safety Troy Polamalu, whose 98 tackles led Las Vegas Bowl-bound USC in 2001, was named the Most Valuable Player of the Trojan football team at the annual awards banquet Sunday night (Dec. 16) at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.

Two seniors-safety-cornerback Antuan Simmons, who overcame a life-threatening abdominal tumor in 2000 to start for his fourth season in 2001, and 3-year starting fullback Charlie Landrigan-shared USC's Most Inspirational Player award.

Simmons, who returned a between-the-legs interception 36 yards for a touchdown in Troy's 27-0 win over UCLA, was named USC's Player of the Game versus UCLA. Senior defensive end Lonnie Ford was USC's Player of the Game versus Notre Dame after posting 8 tackles (3 for losses, with a sack) and forcing a fumble against the Irish.

Ford also was chosen USC's Defensive Lineman of the Year, while sophomore tackle Jacob Rogers was USC's Offensive Lineman of the Year. All-Pac-10 first team junior cornerback Kevin Arbet, an All-Pac-10 first team pick as a special teamer, was USC's Special Teams Player of the Year.

A pair of seniors with 3.0 cumulative GPAs-defensive end Bobby DeMars and school record-holding punter Mike MacGillivray-received the John Wayne Memorial Scholarship and the Howard Jones/Football Alumni Club Academic Award, respectively.A complete list of the awards:

Most Valuable Player: safety Troy Polamalu

Most Inspirational Player: safety-cornerback Antuan Simmons, fullback Charlie Landrigan

Linemen of the Year: offensive tackle Jacob Rogers (offense), defensive end Lonnie Ford (defense)

Special Teams Player of the Year: cornerback Kevin Arbet

Service Team Players of the Year: quarterback Billy Hart (offense), defensive end Jay Bottom (defense)

Player of the Game versus UCLA: safety-cornerback Antuan Simmons

Player of the Game versus Notre Dame: defensive end Lonnie Ford

Jack Oakie 'Rise and Shine' Award (biggest hit of the year): linebacker Mike Pollard

Howard Jones/Football Alumni Club Academic Award (for overall academic achievement): punter Mike MacGillivray

John Wayne Memorial Scholarship (for the player with aspirations to continue in higher education): defensive end Bobby DeMars

Bob Chandler Award (for the underclassman with outstanding athletic ability, academic achievement and character): cornerback Darrell Rideaux

Lifters Award: quarterback Matt Cassel, defensive end Kenechi Udeze

Team Captains: safety Troy Polamalu, safety-cornerback Antuan Simmons, fullback Charlie Landrigan

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