Ryans wins Lott Trophy as best defensive player

Updated: December 12, 2005, 12:57 AM ET
Associated Press

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Alabama linebacker DeMeco Ryans received the Lott Trophy on Sunday night as the nation's outstanding defensive player.

Ryans, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound senior, led Alabama in tackles this season and was the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year. He graduated from school in seven semesters with a 3.7 grade- point average.

No. 13 Alabama (9-2) will play No. 18 Texas Tech (9-2) in the AT&T Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2.

The Lott Trophy, based on personal character as well as performance, is named after Ronnie Lott, a Hall of Fame defensive back who starred at Southern California and was an All-Pro in the NFL.

Lott presented the trophy to Ryans at The Pacific Club, sponsor of the award. Finalists A.J. Hawk of Ohio State and Darryl Tapp of Virginia Tech also were in attendance.

Last year's winner was David Pollack, the All-America defensive end from Georgia who was a first-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Voting for the winner was conducted by Ernst & Young, with ballots being sent to college offensive and defensive coordinators, national media and The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation Board of Directors, a board of advisers made up of former NFL players, and coaches.

There were 42 players on the original watch list this season.

Alabama will receive $25,000 from The Pacific Club's IMPACT Foundation for its general scholarship fund.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press