Sept. 9, 2008
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DALLAS, Texas - Commodore linebacker Patrick Benoist has been named the Football Writers Association of America Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in Vanderbilt's 24-17 victory over No. 24 South Carolina.
Benoist, a 6-0, 222-pound junior from Southlake, Texas, was a key factor in the Commodores' Thursday night in front of an ESPN national audience. He had 15 tackles, including a six-yard sack, a two-yard tackle-for-loss and a pass deflection. His performance helped limit South Carolina to just one second-half score as Vanderbilt knocked off a ranked opponent at home for the first time since 1992. It was also the second straight year for the Commodores to defeat a ranked South Carolina squad.
It also marks the second time in less than a year the FWAA has recognized a Vanderbilt defensive player for his efforts against the Gamecocks. In 2007, cornerback D.J. Moore won the weekly award after intercepting two South Carolina games in Vanderbilt's 17-6 road win.
Benoist will be added to the 2008 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy will be presented to the best defensive player in college football on Dec. 7 by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. Five finalists for the Nagurski Trophy will be announced on Nov. 17.
Each week during the 2008 season the FWAA All-America Committee will select a national defensive player of the week from nominations made by the 11 Division I Bowl Subdivision Conferences and major independents.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,000 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 firstname.lastname@example.org). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is www.touchdownclub.com.