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May 12, 2008

DALLAS, Texas – Three South Carolina football players have been named to the 2008 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List, as announced by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) on Monday. The award is given to the best defensive player in college football and is sponsored by the Charlotte Touchdown Club. Junior strong safety Emanuel Cook, junior defensive back Captain Munnerlyn and junior linebacker Eric Norwood were each named to the 88-member list for the Gamecocks.

Cook was named second team All-SEC by the SEC coaches, the Associated Press, and Phil Steele’s, while he was also named to the first team all-sophomore squad in 2007. Despite missing nearly two full games, Cook led Carolina with 92 tackles on the year, including 77 solo stops.

Munnerlyn earned first team All-SEC honors by the league’s coaches and, second team accolades from the Associated Press and third-team mention by Phil Steele’s, while he joined Cook on’s first team all-sophomore squad in 2007. Missing the final two games of the season due to injury, Munnerlyn tied for the team lead with three interceptions on the year, while he also collected 47 tackles.

Norwood earned first team All-SEC honors by the league’s coaches, second team All-SEC accolades by the Associated Press and third team mention by Phil Steele’s last season. Norwood ranked second on the team with 69 tackles, including 46 solo stops, while his 19.5 tackles for loss set a new South Carolina record in that category.

The FWAA All-America Committee selects the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner from the association’s 11-man All-America defensive team in November. The watch list was developed by the FWAA All-America committee with the help of the schools and conferences.

The Charlotte Touchdown club will hold the 2008 banquet on Sunday, Dec. 7, at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte. For the eighth straight season, the FWAA will also pick a Bronko Nagurski Defensive Player of the Week beginning with games on Aug. 30 and running through the middle of November. A Bronko Nagurski Legends Award winner will also be selected from the FWAA’s 1967 All-American team.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy has been presented since 1993 and is awarded in memory of the legendary Nagurski, a former All-American lineman at Minnesota in 1927-29 and a star for professional football’s Chicago Bears in the 1930’s.