ECU’s Wilson earns more honors|Named to Nagurski Award Watch List, Lombardi Watch List

Published 12:54 pm Wednesday, August 19, 2009

By Staff
ECU Sports Information
DALLAS, Texas — Senior defensive end C.J. Wilson is one-of-62 preseason candidates named to the 2009 Bronko Nagurski Watch List the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the Charlotte Touchdown Club announced today.
Wilson, who was selected as the 2009 Conference USA Preseason Defensive Player-of-the-Year, joins UCF’s Torrell Troup as the only representatives from Conference USA on the initial watch list which is given to the nation’s best defensive player.
The selection marks the seventh national watch list designation for East Carolina in 2009 joining Sean Allen (Rotary Lombardi Award), Matt Dodge (Ray Guy Award), Van Eskridge (Jim Thorpe Award), Ben Hartman (Lou Groza Award), Nick Johnson (Rotary Lombardi Award), Patrick Pinkney (Johnny Unitas Award) and Wilson (Ted Hendricks &Rotary Lombardi Awards).
In 2008, Wilson helped the Pirates to back-to-back wins over nationally-ranked Virginia Tech and West Virginia to begin the season as well as the school’s first-ever Conference USA Championship.
He led all ECU linemen with 70 tackles, tied for the conference lead in tackles for loss with 18.5 and was second in the league in sacks with 10.5. He added five quarterback hurries, one pass breakup and a forced fumble. A first-team All-C-USA selection, Wilson recorded at least one sack in nine contests and produced five or more tackles in eight games.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy 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.
The Bronko Nagurski Watch List is fluid. Players may be added or removed during the season. After the first four games of the season, the FWAA will revise the list and at that time school sports information directors may submit names for players not on the list to the FWAA and their conference’s FWAA All-America Committee representative.
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. Besides the 2009 winner being announced, the banquet will also celebrate the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, presented by CSX Intermodal. Defensive back Roger Wehrli, a standout for the University of Missouri and the St. Louis Cardinals, is being honored from the FWAA’s 1968 All-American team.
ECU trio named to Lombardi Watch List
HOUSTON, Texas — East Carolina seniors Sean Allen (OL), Nick Johnson (LB) and C.J. Wilson (DE) are three-of-153 players from 79 teams and 11 conferences that were named to the 40th Annual Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List Tuesday.
The trio’s selection marks the sixth national watch list designation for the 2009 season joining Matt Dodge (Ray Guy Award), Van Eskridge (Jim Thorpe Award), Ben Hartman (Lou Groza Award), Patrick Pinkney (Johnny Unitas Award) and Wilson (Ted Hendricks Award).
The Rotary Lombardi Award is presented annually by Houston’s Rotary Club to the nation’s top college football lineman (offense or defense) who, in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the discipline of Vince Lombardi.
The Watch List was formed by using 2008 postseason and 2009 preseason all-conference and All-America teams. Additional nominations were accepted from Rotary Lombardi Award voters and college sports information directors.
On Oct. 14, the 12 semifinalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award will be announced. On Nov. 11, the four finalists will be named. All of the finalists will travel to Houston for the ceremony to announce the winner on Dec. 9 at the Hilton Americas.
Last year’s Rotary Lombardi Award, Brian Orakpo a defensive end from the University of Texas, was the first round draft selection of the Washington Redskins.
The Rotary Club of Houston founded the Rotary Lombardi Award in 1970, in the weeks following the death of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi from cancer. The 40th Rotary Lombardi Award dinner will be held on December 9, 2009, at the Hilton Americas Hotel. Net proceeds from the event benefit the American Cancer Society.