Paea selected to Nagurski watch list

OREGON STATE defensive tackle Stephen Paea has been named one of 62 players on the the 2009 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, awarded annually to the nation's premier defensive player by the Football Writers Association (FWAA) and the Charlotte Touchdown Club (CTC).

Paea is one of the premier tackles in the Pac-10 Conference and earned honorable mention all-league last season. He made 41 tackles for the year, including 11 for loss and five quarterback sacks.

Paea started 12 of the 13 games in his first season with the Beavers after transferring from Utah’s Snow Junior College.

The 6-1 co-team captain from Vav’u in the Tongan Island chain was tabbed with the eighth best performance in a bowl game by ESPN’s Bruce Feldman after making four tackles in the Sun Bowl win over Pittsburgh last season.

He is joined on the watch list by fellow Pac-10 players Taylor Mays (USC), Brian Price (UCLA), Syd'Quan Thompson (Cal), Walter Thurmond III (Oregon), Alterraun Verner (UCLA) and T.J. Ward (Oregon).

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 Trophy banquet will be on Dec. 7 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.

Paea is the third Beaver to be named to an awards list, joining linebacker Keaton Kristick on the Chuck Bednarik Award list and running back Jacquizz Rodgers on the Walter Camp and Doak Walker lists.

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