Pile Wins National Award
September 24, 2002

DALLAS, Texas - Virginia Tech senior free safety Willie Pile, a native of Alexandria, Va., has been named this week's recipient of the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week Award for his performance in the Hokies' 13-3 win over Texas A&M this past Saturday in College Station.

Pile had 10 tackles, including five solo. He was also part of two turnovers, recording an interception and a fumble recovery. He had 48 return yards, bringing back the interception 17 yards and the fumble 31 yards. The interception, the 11th of his career, helped seize the momentum for Tech as the Hokies became the first non-conference opponent to win at College Station vs. A&M head coach R.C. Slocum.

A three-person panel from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) selects the winner of the weekly award.

The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club pick a National Defensive Player of the Week each Monday. Pile will be added to the Watch List for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy which will be presented on Dec. 9 in Charlotte, N.C., by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

The previous two winners this year have been Maurice Sikes of Miami on Sept. 9 and Notre Dame's Shane Walton on Sept. 16.

Additionally, it was announced that Pile has been added to the Watch List for the Thorpe Award, joining teammates Ronyell Whitaker and DeAngelo Hall. Also, offensive lineman Anthony Davis has been added to the Watch List for the Outland Trophy. Both of those awards will be presented at the ESPN Awards Show in December.