Robert Thomas Named Pac-10 Defensive Player of Year; 18 Bruins Earn All-Pac-10 Honors

Nov. 26, 2001

UCLA middle linebacker Robert Thomas was selected the Pacific-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year and 18 Bruins earned All-Pac-10 honors. Five UCLA players were selected All-Pac-10 first team, four were named to the second team and nine received honorable mention.

Thomas, a senior from Imperial, Calif., leads the Pac-10 by a wide margin in tackles and tackles for loss. From his middle linebacker post, Thomas leads the Conference with 106 tackles in 10 games, with his 10.6 tackles per game making him the only player in the league to average double figures in tackles. He also leads the Pac-10 in tackles for loss with 24. He led the Bruins in tackles in nine of 10 games this season and his 24 tackles for loss is a school record. UCLA leads the league in total defense and is second in rushing defense and scoring defense, allowing just 18.3 points per game. Thomas is a finalist for the Butkus Award and has been selected first-team All-America by the Football News.

In addition to Thomas, tailback DeShaun Foster, defensive end Kenyon Coleman, cornerback Ricky Manning Jr. and punter Nate Fikse were first-team selections.

Tight end Bryan Fletcher, offensive tackle Mike Saffer, defensive tackle Rodney Leisle and safety Marques Anderson were named to the second team.

The nine Bruins receiving honorable mention were defensive end Dave Ball, offensive tackle Bryce Bohlander, center Troy Danoff, defensive tackle Anthony Fletcher, place kicker Chris Griffith, fullback Ed Ieremia-Stansbury, defensive tackle Ken Kocher, outside linebacker Ryan Nece and cornerback Matt Ware.

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