Sedrick Ellis And Ryan Kalil Win Pac-10 Morris Trophies

Dec. 14, 2006

USC junior nose tackle Sedrick Ellis and senior center Ryan Kalil have been named winners of the 27th annual Morris Trophy, a unique award given to the outstanding offensive and defensive linemen in the Pacific-10 Conference.

It marks just the fourth time in 27 years, and the first time since 1991, that the offensive and defensive winners have come from the same school. In 1982, Trojans George Achica (defense) and Bruce Matthews (offense) won the respective Morris Trophies.

What makes the Morris Trophy unique is the selection procedure, which has the starting offensive linemen in the Conference voting for the defensive winner and vice versa.

Ellis was the rock in the middle of the USC defense that played a key role in the Trojans' 10-2 regular-season record that led to a Rose Bowl berth. With Ellis in the middle of the line, USC led the Pac-10 in both scoring defense (14.9 points per game) and total defense (293.8 yards per game). A two-year starter and a first-team All-Pac-10 selection this year, Ellis missed three early games with a knee injury, but still posted 28 tackles, including six tackles for loss and 3.5 quarterback sacks, broke up two tackles, recovered two fumbles and blocked a kick.

While USC has had nine offensive linemen win the Morris Trophy, Ellis becomes just the third Trojan defensive lineman to be voted the award and the first since 1995. He joins Trojans Achica (1982) and Darrell Russell (1996).

Kalil has started at center for USC the last three seasons and has been voted first-team All-Pac-10 Conference by the head football coaches the last two years. He was the only unanimous pick by the coaches on the offensive line this year and has been named a second-team All-America selection. He started every game this year on an offensive unit that averaged 30.3 points per game. The Trojan offensive line allowed only 16 quarterback sacks all season.

Long known for its offensive linemen, USC has taken the offensive side of the Morris Trophy nine times in 27 years. Kalil joins former Trojan offensive linemen Roy Foster (1980 and 1981), Matthews (1982), Jeff Bregel (1985), Pat Harlow (1990), Tony Boselli (1994), Travis Claridge (1999) and Jacob Rogers (2003).

Ellis and Kalil will be presented their awards at a luncheon at the prestigious Washington AthleticClub in Seattle on January 18, 2007. The Morris Trophy is sponsored by the Morris Family of Woodway, Wash., and the Washington Athletic Club.

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