ASU's Suggs Wins 2002 Nagurski Award As Top Defensive Player
Dec. 9, 2002
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Arizona State defensive endTerrell Suggs was named the 2002 Bronko Nagurski Award winner presentedannually to the nation's top defensive player Monday evening in Charlotte,N.C. The award is sponsored by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and voted on bythe Football Writers Association of America.
'This is a real honor and I am really surprised,' said Suggs in front of acrowd of over 1,000 people at the banquet. 'I look around me and see fourof the best defensive players in the game and I just can't believe theypicked me. I have to thank everyone that has been a part of this award,especially the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football WritersAssociation of America. Thanks to my coaching staff and players who withoutthem this award means nothing. And most of all thanks to my parents foreverything that they've done. I think this is the most nervous I have everbeen, but man is it a great feeling.'
Suggs beat out Nagurski finalists E.J. Henderson (LB, Maryland), TerranceNewman (CB, Kansas State), David Pollack (DE, Georgia) and Shane Walton(CB, Notre Dame) for the award that was presented for the 10th year. Pastwinners of the prestigious award include Warren Sapp (Miami, 1994), CharlesWoodson (Michigan, 1997), Champ Bailey (Georgia, 1998) and Roy Williams(Oklahoma, 2001). ESPN analyst Al Bernstein was the master of ceremoniesand University of Miami head coach Larry Coker spoke at the event held atthe Adam's Mark hotel located in downtown Charlotte.
Suggs, who broke the ASU, Pac-10 and NCAA single-season record with 22sacks, is having a record-breaking year in 2002. He finished the regularseason with the most tackles for loss in the nation (29.5) and tied for themost forced fumbles (6) in the Pacific-10 Conference. He was also honoredas the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team all Pac-10selection. He has also been named an American Football Coaches Associationand Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) First-Team All-Americateam and was selected as the Touchdown Club of Columbus' Nation's BestDefensive Lineman. He will continue his junior season at the Pacific LifeHoliday Bowl on Dec. 27 against No. 6 Kansas State in San Diego, Calif.
Suggs, a junior from Chandler, Arizona, now holds ASU records for singleseason sacks (22), career sacks (42), single-season tackles for loss(29.5), and career tackles for loss (63.5). A finalist for the TedHendricks Award, the Rotary Lombardi Award, and now the winner of theBronko Nagurski Trophy, Suggs had two games in the 2002 with four or moresacks and has totaled 12 career multi-sack games. In thirteen games thisyear, he earned a Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week honor, a NagurskiNational Defensive Player of the Week honor, and cnnsi.com MidseasonAll-American acclaim. Suggs has led the Sun Devils in sacks and tackles forloss in each of his three seasons in Tempe. Suggs' national awards tourcontinues Wednesday with the presenting of the Lombardi Award in Houston,Texas at Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL Houston Texas.