Hawk, Ryans, Tapp are finalists for Lott Award

Updated: December 1, 2005, 9:15 PM ET
Associated Press

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Linebackers A.J. Hawk of Ohio State and DeMeco Ryans of Alabama and end Darryl Tapp of Virginia Tech were selected Thursday as finalists for the Lott Trophy, presented to college football's defensive player of the year.

Candidates for the award, named for former Southern California defensive back Ronnie Lott, are judged on on-field and off-field performance. Defensive end David Pollack of Georgia, a first-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals, won last year.

Hawk, Ryans and Tapp anchor three of the best defenses in the nation. Sixth-ranked Ohio State (9-2) is No. 1 against the run, fourth in total defense, and seventh in scoring defense. Fifth-ranked Virginia Tech (10-1) is No. 1 in both total defense and scoring defense. No. 14 Alabama (9-2) is ranked second in those categories.

The winner will be announced Dec. 11 at the sponsoring Pacific Club in Newport Beach.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press