Rey Maualuga Named Bronko Nagurski Trophy Finalist

Nov. 19, 2008

USC linebacker Rey Maualuga has been named one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented by the Football Writers Association and the Charlotte Touchdown Club to the top collegiate defensive player.

Also named as finalists are TCU end Jerry Hughes, Texas end Brian Orakpo, Wake Forest cornerback Alphonso Smith and Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes.

The winner will be announced on Dec. 7 and presented the Bronko Nagurski Trophy at a gala banquet at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C., where East Carolina coach Skip Holtz will give the keynote address.

In addition, the FWAA and Charlotte Touchdown Club will present the second Bronko Nagurski Legends Award presented by CSX Intermodal to Ted Hendricks, a standout end at the University of Miami (Fla.), who was a member of the 1967 FWAA All-America Team.

The FWAA award is named after Nagurski, who dominated college football at Minnesota as a bruising fullback and tackle from 1927-29. He could have been an All-America at any position, playing 60 minutes and was the best player wherever he lined up.

Maualuga, a 2-time All-Pac-10 first teamer who is a 2008 Lombardi Award finalist and Bednarik Award semifinalist, leads USC with 66 tackles and has also intercepted two passes (including a 48-yarder for a touchdown in a victory over Ohio State). He spearheads a USC defense that is ranked second nationally in total defense, first in scoring defense, sixth in rushing defense, and first in pass defense and pass efficiency defense. The Trojans have allowed just 10 touchdowns in 2008 and 83 total points (only 19 points in second halves of games), and have posted three shutouts. Eight of USC's 10 opponents in 2008 have been limited to 100 or less rushing yards and under 250 total yards.

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, N.C. region. The club's activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship, scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and coaches.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of nearly 1,000 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards, a national poll and its annual All-America team.

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