Four defensive players named finalists

Tuesday, November 13th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HOUSTON (AP) _ Alex Brown of Florida, Rocky Calmus of Oklahoma, Dwight Freeney of Syracuse and Julius Peppers of North Carolina were named finalists Tuesday for the Lombardi Award as the nation's top collegiate lineman.

The winner will be announced Dec. 5. A panel of sports writers and broadcasters, former winners and Division I-A football coaches makes the selection.

Brown became a finalist after being selected a semifinalist three straight years. He is the Gators' single-season sack record holder (13 in 1999) and career sack record holder (32) and two-time All-Southeastern Conference pick.

Calmus is the 10th Oklahoma finalist and the Sooners' first since Keith Jackson in 1987. Lee Roy Selmon (1975) and Tony Casillas (1985) are previous Oklahoma winners of the award, named in honor of Vince Lombardi, the former Green Bay and Washington coach.

Freeney has averaged 16.5 sacks and 26 tackles for losses this season. In his last 18 games, he has 30.5 sacks. He is the second finalist from Syracuse, joining Ted Gregory, who was honored in 1987.

Peppers is nearing the Tar Heels record book. He has 29.5 sacks, the short of the school record. Peppers has 8.5 sacks this season.