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Chicago, IL The Ted Hendricks Foundation has unveiled the list of finalists for the 2007 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award. Because of a very competitive first-round vote, the field of finalists has expanded to eight very talented individuals.

This year’s finalists are as follows:

ERIC BAKHTIARI UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO (6’4” 260 lbs SR)
Bakhtiari earned his second consecutive honors as the Pioneer Football League’s Defensive Player of the Year. He leads all Division I players with 20 sacks and leads all Division I defensive ends with 76 tackles.

MAURICE EVANS PENN STATE (6’2” 257 lbs SO)
The sophomore from Brooklyn, NY earned First-Team All Big Ten honors this season, after recording 12 sacks and 21 tackles for loss. Evans currently ranks 4th in NCAA (FBS) sacks and 3rd in tackles for loss.

VERNON GHOLSTON OHIO STATE (6’4” 2765 lbs JR)
Gholston ranked 2nd in the Big Ten and 4th nationally (FBS) in sacks with 13.0 and was named the conference’s Defensive Lineman of the Year.

CHRIS LONG VIRGINIA (6’4” 278 lbs SR)
Long is also a finalist for the Lombardi and Nagurski awards. He leads the ACC in sacks with 14 (3rd in NCAA FBS) and is a two-time captain of the Cavaliers. He also leads the Cavaliers with 19 tackles for loss (6th in NCAA) and 22 quarterback hurries. Virginia retired his No. 91 jersey last Saturday in Charlottesville.

GREG MIDDLETON INDIANA (6’3” 270 lbs SO)
Middleton leads the NCAA (FBS) with an IU record 16 sacks, and was named to the All Big Ten First Team. His sack total is fourth-best all-time in the conference.

NICK REED OREGON (6’2” 255 lbs JR)
Reed leads the Pac-10 in sacks (12) and tackles for loss (20). Nationally, he ranks 6th and 4th, respectively in those categories.

JONAL SAINT-DIC MICHIGAN STATE (6’1” 255 lbs SR)
Saint-Dic set the Big Ten single-season record with eight forced fumbles, breaking the mark previously held by Penn State’s Michael Haynes (7 in 13 games in 2002). His eight forced fumbles rank as the second-best single-season total in NCAA Bowl Subdivision history, trailing only Louisville’s Elvis Dumervil (10, 2005). He has also been named First-Team All Big Ten.

GEORGE SELVIE SOUTH FLORIDA (6’4” 242 lbs SO)
Selvie has led the country in tackles for loss all season long. He has 30.5 TFL this season and is just two shy of breaking the NCAA single season record. He is also second among NCAA FBS players with 14.5 sacks. He has more sacks that 16 NCAA FBS teams.

The final vote for 2007 Hendricks Award will be concluded on December 3rd , and the winner will be announced December 5th.