Whitaker on Nagurski Watch List
Senior CB one of 33 on list
April 10, 2002

The Charlotte (N.C.) Touchdown Club and Football Writers Association of America have announced the 2002 watch list of candidates for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, awarded annually to the nation's top defensive college player.

For Virginia Tech, rising senior cornerback Ronyell Whitaker is represented. The All-American from Norfolk, Va., is one of 33 collegiate football players on the watch list headed into the 2002 season.

The 800-member Football Writers Association of America selects the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list candidates, identifies the players of the week and names the trophy winner. The Charlotte Touchdown Club, a non-profit organization that raises funds for scholarships, has presented the trophy each year since 1995.

The distinguished recipients who have been awarded the Bronko Nagurski Trophy in past years include the following: Rob Waldrop (1993), Warren Sapp (1994), Pat Fitzgerald (1995&96), Charles Woodson (1997), Champ Bailey (1998), Virginia Tech's Corey Moore (1999), and Dan Morgan (2000). The 2001 recipient was Roy Williams, a junior defensive back from the University of Oklahoma.

The award, named after Hall of Famer and University of Minnesota and Chicago Bear star Bronko Nagurski, recognizes the best all-around defensive players throughout the year with the Bronko Nagurski Player of the Week. In November, five finalists will be selected and the trophy will be presented to the winner at a banquet on Dec. 9 in Charlotte, N.C.

The 2002 Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list includes:

Player               School                   Position
Chris Kelsay         Nebraska                 Defensive End
Cory Redding         Texas                    Defensive End
Jimmy Wilkerson      Oklahoma                 Defensive End
Derrick Strait       Oklahoma                 Cornerback
Andre Woolfolk       Oklahoma                 Cornerback
Donald Strickland    Colorado                 Cornerback
E.J. Henderson       Maryland                 Linebacker
Greg Gathers         Georgia Tech             Defensive End
Kendyll Pope         Florida State            Linebacker
Terrance Holt        N.C. State               Defensive Back
Clifton Smit         Syracuse                 Linebacker
Jonathan Vilma       Miami                    Linebacker
Gerald Hayes         Pittsburgh               Linebacker
Ronyell Whitaker     Virginia Tech            Cornerback
Jerome McDougle      Miami                    Defensive End
William Josep        Miami                    Defensive Tackle
Bradie James         LSU                      Linebacker
Mario Haggan         Mississippi State        Linebacker
Rashad Faison        South Carolina           Defensive Back
Troy Polamalu        Southern California      Safety
Terrell Suggs        Arizona State            Defensive End
Eric Manning         Oregon State             Defensive Tackle
Ricky Manning        UCLA                     Cornerback
Dennis Weathersby    Oregon State             Cornerback
Lance Briggs         Arizona                  Linebacker
Rodney Leisle        UCLA                     Defensive Tackle
Christian Morton     Illinois                 Defensive Back
Jerry Schumacher     Illinois                 Linebacker
Benny Sapp           Iowa                     Defensive Back
Cato June            Michigan                 Defensive Back
Mike Doss            Ohio State               Defensive Back
Stuart Schweigert    Purdue                   Defensive Back
Erasmus James        Wisconsin                Defensive Line