Oct. 16, 2000
Berkeley, CA - California safety Nnamdi Asomugha earned a pair of individual honors after his fine performance against UCLA last Saturday. Asomugha was named the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week on Monday by the Football Writers Association of America. This came after he was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week by the conference, also on Monday.
Asomugha, a sophomore from Los Angeles, was a defensive star in California's wild 46-38 triple overtime upset win over UCLA. Asomugha was credited with seven tackles, four unassisted, and made two huge defensive plays. He intercepted a pass and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown and later came up with a pass deflection in the end zone which saved a touchdown on a fourth-and-goal play. The California defense limited UCLA to 45 yards rushing on 45 attempts and intercepted three passes.
The Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week is selected by a panel of writers from the FWAA. The FWAA also names the best defensive player in college football at the end of the season. The recipient receives the Bronko Nagurski Trophy at a banquet which is hosted by the Charlotte Touchdown Club on Dec. 4 in Charlotte, N.C.
Miami linebacker Dan Morgan won the award last week for his play in the Hurricanes' 27-24 upset of Florida State. The week before Mississippi State defensive end Willie Blade claimed National Defensive Player of the Week honors when he starred in the Bulldogs' 47-35 upset of Florida.
Northwestern University linebacker Kevin Bentley was named the fourth winner of the weekly defensive award after helping the Wildcats to a 47-44 double-overtime victory over Wisconsin. In week No. 3, Washington tackle Larry Tripplett was named the winner for his performance in the Huskies' 17-14 upset road victory at Colorado.
Nebraska linebacker Carlos Polk was named the second winner for his defense in the Cornhuskers' 27-24 overtime victory over Notre Dame. In week one, Rice strong safety Travis Ortega, posted a career-high 15 tackles in Rice's 30-27 overtime victory over Houston to win the award.