Aug. 19, 2009
University of South Carolina linebacker Eric Norwood has been named to the preseason Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the Charlotte Touchdown Club announced the 62-player watch list on Tuesday.
The Nagurski Trophy is awarded annually to the nation’s best defensive player. It has been presented since 1993 and is awarded in memory of the legendary Nagurski, an All-America lineman at Minnesota in 1927-29 and a star for professional football’s Chicago Bears in the 1930s.
Norwood, a 6-1, 252-pounder from Acworth, Ga., was a consensus first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection in 2008 after finishing second on the squad with 75 tackles, including a team-leading 14.5 tackles for loss and 9.0 sacks. He also led the team with nine quarterback hurries, while recovering two fumbles and forcing another. A 2007 first-team All-SEC selection by the SEC coaches and a 2006 Freshman All-American, Norwood is Carolina’s all-time leader with 43.0 career tackles for loss and is third on the school’s all-time list in sacks with 22.0. He is the SEC active leader in both categories. He has played in all 38 games over the past three seasons, making 25 consecutive starts for the Gamecocks.
Each week during the 2009 season, the FWAA will choose a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week. If the selected player is not on the watch list, he automatically will be added. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy on November 18 or 19. The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet will be on Dec. 7 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.
Norwood is also on the Watch list for the Lott Trophy, the Bednarik Award, and the Lombardi Award and is a 2009 preseason first team All-SEC selection.