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June 23, 2010

South Carolina defensive end Cliff Matthews and cornerback Stephon Gilmore are among the 74 players on the preseason watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, awarded annually to the nation’s best defensive player by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

Matthews, a 6-4, 260-pound senior from Cheraw, S.C., has also been named to the preseason Lombardi and Lott Trophy watch lists. He was a second-team All-SEC selection a year ago and has accounted for 105 career tackles, including 17.5 tackles for loss and 10.0 sacks.

Gilmore, a 6-1, 188-pound sophomore from Rock Hill, S.C., earned Freshman All-America accolades last season after starting every game at cornerback for the Gamecocks. He was also selected as the University of South Carolina’s Male New Student-Athlete of the Year for 2009-10.

Players may be added or deleted to the Bronko Nagurski Watch List during the season. Each week during the 2010 season, the FWAA will choose a Defensive Player of the Week. If that 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.

The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet will be on Dec. 6 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. Besides the 2010 winner being announced, the banquet will also celebrate the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, presented by CSX Intermodal. Defensive tackle Mike McCoy, a standout for Notre Dame, is being honored from the FWAA’s 1969 All-America team.