Football Writers Association of America Dec. 5, 2005
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson
National defensive player of the year led nation with 20 sacks

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FWAA) – Louisville senior defensive end Elvis Dumervil has won the 2005 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which annually is awarded to the best defensive player in college football.

Dumervil is the 13th Nagurski Trophy recipient and the first Louisville player to win the award, as voted upon by the Football Writers Association of America All-America committee and sponsored by the Charlotte Touchdown Club. The announcement was made Monday night at the annual awards banquet attended by more than 900 people at the Westin Hotel.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy

"I am really grateful," Dumervil said after accepting the award. "It is a great deal for me. Coach Petrino (Bobby, Louisville's head coach) is one of the best coaches in America. And I want to thank my teammates, they were there all season and they worked hard. We really sweated together this season."

The award is given in memory of the legendary Bronko Nagurski, a former All-American lineman at Minnesota (1927-29) and star for professional football’s Chicago Bears in the 1930s.

Other finalists were Oregon junior defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, Penn State senior defensive end Tamba Hali, Virginia Tech senior defensive back Jimmy Williams and Alabama senior linebacker DeMeco Ryans.

Dumervil won the award after leading the nation with 20 sacks (1.82 per game) for 151 yards in losses. He also led the country in forced fumbles with 10 in 11 games. He was second in the country in tackles for loss with 22 for 165 yards in losses.


Louisville, participating in the Big East Conference for the first time in 2005, compiled a 9-2 record and earned a trip to the Toyota Gator Bowl to face Virginia Tech.

Dumervil registered nine sacks in his first two games of the season against Kentucky and Oregon State and surpassed the old two-game NCAA Division I-A record of eight by Georgia Tech's Pat Swilling. Later, in a 69-14 thumping of North Carolina, Dumervil had three sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception.

"A couple of times, I thought he was offsides," Petrino said of the sacks. "But he was just moving with the ball."

Dumervil, a 6-0, 256-pounder from Miami, Fla., is highly coveted by the Indianapolis Colts in their 4-3 defensive scheme. Former Syracuse defensive end Dwight Freeney, who was a Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalist in 2001, now plays defensive end for the Colts.

"I sorta used size to my advantage, I could get extra leverage," Dumervil said. "During the season, I knew I was not the proto-typical defensive end. I knew I had to work that much harder, if I wanted to purse a career at the next level.

"I would love to play for the Colts. I have spoken to Freeney during the year. And he is a good guy. I have learned from him. He told me when I got double-teamed – and that started to happen – to keep going hard and try to key the ball."

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 900 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game day operations, major awards, a national poll and its annual All-America team.

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, N.C. region. The club's activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship, scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and coaches. For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is

For more information on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, contact FWAA executive director Steve Richardson (972-713-6198 or

Bronko Nagurski Trophy Winners
1993 Rob Waldorf, 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
2005 Elvis Dumervil, Louisville