Football Writers Association of America Dec. 6, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson
Senior linebacker is third Big 12 player in four years to win
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FWAA) Texas senior linebacker Derrick Johnson on Monday night collected the 2004 Bronko Nagurski Trophy at a banquet attended by more than 850 people at the Westin Hotel.

The Nagurski Trophy is awarded annually to the best defensive player in college football by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.


Johnson is the third Big 12 Conference player in four seasons to win the award. But he is the first Texas Longhorn to claim the 12-year-old award, which is voted upon by the FWAA All-America Committee.

Last year, Oklahoma defensive back Derrick Strait, now with the New York Jets, claimed the Nagurski Trophy. And another Oklahoma defensive back Roy Williams, now with the Dallas Cowboys, won the award in 2001.

Johnson, who was the Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year, in 11 games this season posted 128 tackles. He had 19 tackles for loss, caused a NCAA record-tying eight fumbles, and picked up an interception. He also had three quarterback hurries.

"He's a special guy, real special," said Texas' first-year defensive coordinator Greg Robinson. "We will miss him."

Oklahoma handed UT its only loss of the 2004 regular season, 12-0 at the Cotton Bowl in early October. And Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was the keynote speaker at this banquet. But Johnson was superb in that game, which was Oklahoma's lowest scoring output of the season.

Against the Sooners, 6-4, 230-pound senior from Waco, Texas, collected 16 tackles (seven unassisted), made one tackle for a three-yard loss and intercepted a pass and returned it 18 yards.

Johnson, who also is a finalist for the Bednarik, Lombardi and Butkus awards, will play in the Rose Bowl in his final game for the Longhorns.

Auburn defensive back Carlos Rogers and defensive ends Jonathan Goddard of Marshall, Erasmus James of Wisconsin and David Pollack of Georgia were the other 2004 Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalists.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is named for the former University of Minnesota All-American. Nagurski was a consensus All-American defensive tackle in 1929 and also made All-America teams that year as a fullback, the only man ever picked at two positions. He was a charter member of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame. Nagurski died at the age of 81 in January 1980.

For more information on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, go to or

Bronko Nagurski Trophy Winners
1993 Rob Waldrop, Arizona
1994 Warren Sapp, Miami
1995 Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
1996 Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
1997 Charles Woodson, Michigan
1998 Champ Bailey, Georgia
1999 Corey Moore, Virginia Tech
2000 Dan Morgan, Miami
2001 Roy Williams, Oklahoma
2002 Terrell Suggs, Arizona State
2003 Derrick Strait, Oklahoma
2004 Derrick Johnson, Texas

Jack Bogaczyk
Charleston Daily Mail
Todd Jones
Columbus Dispatch
Joe Person
The State
Charles Durrenberger
Arizona Daily Star
Rich Kaipust
Omaha World-Herald
Chip Scoggins
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Chad Hartley
Reno Gazette Journal
Steve Kiggins
Casper Star-Tribune
Bob Thomas
Florida Times-Union