Two Gators on Nagorski Watch List

University of Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes and defensive end Jermaine Cunningham were both listed by the Football Writers Association of America on the Watch List for the 2008 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is awarded to the best defensive player in college football and sponsored by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

Jermaine Cunningham made a tremendous impact in 2007 after serving in a backup role in 2006. Over his first two seasons, he has seen action in 20 games with 13 career starts, and recorded 66 tackles, 34 solo and 30 assisted. Cunningham also has 12 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. In 2007, he led all Gator defensive linemen with 64 tackles, 34 solo and 30 assisted. That tally registered as the third-highest total among all linemen in the SEC.

Brandon Spikes has collected 146 total tackles (90 solo) in his first two seasons. In 2007, he started in all 13 games at middle linebacker and was a First-Team All-SEC selection by the league's coaches and the Associated Press. He led the team with 131 total tackles (81 solo) and placed second in the SEC in total tackles.

The FWAA All-America Committee selects the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner from the association's 11-man All-America defensive team in November. The watch list was developed by the FWAA All-America committee with the help of the schools and conferences.

The Charlotte Touchdown Club will hold the 2008 banquet on Sunday, Dec. 7, at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte. For the eighth-straight season, the FWAA will also pick a Bronko Nagurski Defensive Player of the Week beginning with games on Aug. 30 and running through the middle of November. A Bronko Nagurski Legends Award winner will also be selected from the FWAA's 1967 All-America team.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy has been presented since 1993 and is awarded in memory of the legendary Nagurski, a former All-America lineman at Minnesota in 1927-29 and a star for professional football's Chicago Bears in the 1930s.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 900 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards, a national poll and its annual All-America team.

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, N.C. region. The club's activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship, scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and coaches.

Courtesy UF Sports Information

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