Nov. 16, 2006

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte Touchdown Club is proud to announce the five finalists for the 2006 Bronko Nagurski Trophy. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is awarded each year to the nation’s most outstanding Division I defensive football player.

The 2006 Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalists are:
Gaines Adams, DL, Clemson
Leon Hall, DB, Michigan
James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State
Reggie Nelson, DB, Florida
Patrick Willis, LB, Mississippi

Each finalist will be honored at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet on December 4, 2006, at the Westin hotel in Charlotte, NC. The keynote address will be given by two-time Bronko Nagurski Winner, and Northwestern University Head Football Coach, Pat Fitzgerald. Former Carolina Panther Steve Beuerlein is slated as Master of Ceremonies.

“James has played extremely well in his first year as a starter. He is a smart, mature and physically gifted football player with the penchant for always being around the ball. After losing nine starters last year, we needed some of our young players to step up and James has done that. You could see him coming on in spring training and fall camp. He is a good football player and he is going to get even better,” said Jim Tressel.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is given in honor of the late Bronko Nagurski. Widely regarded as one of the greatest college football players of all time, Nagurski was named the 1929

All-America Defensive Tackle and led the Chicago Bears to three NFL Championships.

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization founded in 1991 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, North Carolina region. The Club’s activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding Citizenship, Scholarship, Sportsmanship, and Leadership of area athletes and coaches.