Oklahoma's Williams wins Nagurski Trophy

Tuesday, December 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Oklahoma's Roy Williams won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the top collegiate defensive player, edging Julius Peppers of North Carolina on Monday night.

Williams, a junior, won the Jim Thorpe Trophy as the country's best defensive back last week. But he didn't expect to get the Nagurski Trophy, which was last won by a defensive back in 1998, by Champ Bailey. Charles Woodson won it in 1997.

``I really thought Peppers was going to win this _ I mean, this is his backyard, this is home and I really thought he had the upper hand,'' Williams said.

``Plus, I didn't think a defensive back would get it, I think Woodson was the last one. But hey, we can't get the Heisman, so I'll take this.''

The 6-foot, 221-pound Williams led Oklahoma to a 10-2 record and a berth in the Cotton Bowl. He had five interceptions and four sacks this season.

Peppers, who won the Chuck Bednarik Trophy last week as the nation's top defensive player and the Lombardi Award as the top college lineman, said he wasn't disappointed.

``I wasn't expecting to win, although I think a lot of other people were,'' Peppers said. ``Roy's a great player, I've got nothing but great things to say about him and I'm glad somebody who deserved it won.''

The other finalists for the Nagurski Trophy, given annually by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America, were Oklahoma linebacker Rocky Calmus, Florida defensive end Alex Brown, and Syracuse defensive end Dwight Freeney.