Advertisement
  1. Archive

UF's Nelson hopes Orlando becomes Hit City tonight

In the Florida meeting room they call it "Hit City," and Reggie Nelson is a regular in that town.

The junior cornerback was a mainstay on Florida's highlight reels every Monday - the day the players gathered throughout the regular season to watch the week's best hits from the previous Saturday's game.

"Reggie Nelson is the most frequent person on Hit City," safety Ryan Smith said. "He can move, once he gets moving and he is strong and fast. That mixture is Reggie Nelson."

At 6 feet 1, 195 pounds, Nelson isn't the biggest or strongest player, but teammates say he's never one to shy away from a big hit. He also has six interceptions.

Those are a few of the reasons Nelson will be in Orlando tonight at the Home Depot College Awards. He is one of three finalists for the Thorpe Award, honoring the nation's top defensive back. The other finalists are Aaron Ross of Texas and Michigan's Leon Hall.

"I just love to play," Nelson said. "If I get a big hit, I get a big hit; if I don't, oh well, I just try to come out next week and practice even harder to get one."

The awards have 18 categories, and finalists for 10 of the awards will be in attendance for tonight's live announcement, along with recipients of Disney's Wide World of Sports Spirit Award, Coach of the Year Award, the National College Football Awards Association Contribution to College Football Award and student-athletes selected to the Walter Camp All-America Team.

The show will be hosted by ESPN's Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit. New will be the recognition of four awards: Rotary Lombardi Award (outstanding lineman); Bronko Nagurski Trophy (outstanding defensive player); John Mackey Award (tight end), and Rimington Trophy (outstanding center). The Nagurski was already announced, and Michigan defensive end LaMarr Woodley won the Lombardi on Wednesday night.

Nelson, nicknamed "The Eraser" by coach Urban Meyer, has had a busy week. He was in Charlotte, N.C., being honored with four other finalists for the Nagurski Trophy. Nelson will remain in Orlando on Friday to tape the Football Writers Association of America/ESPN All-America Show, which will be broadcast at 1 p.m. Saturday on Ch. 28.

After Florida's 21-14 win over Florida State, UF safeties coach Doc Holliday summed up Nelson's season in one sentence.

"If Reggie Nelson doesn't win that Thorpe Award, something's wrong," he said.

Antonya English can be reached at english@sptimes.com.

THE HOME DEPOT AWARDS NOMINEES

BILETNIKOFF AWARD

(wide receiver)

Jarett Dillard, Rice

Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech

Jeff Samardzija, Notre Dame.

BUTKUS AWARD

(linebacker)

James Laurinaitis, Ohio State

Paul Posluszny, Penn State

Patrick Willis, Mississippi

DAVEY O' BRIEN NATIONAL QUARTERBACK

Colt Brettan, Hawaii

Brady Quinn, Notre Dame

Troy Smith, Ohio State

DISNEY'S WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS

SPIRIT AWARD

Patrick Hughes, Louisville

DOAK WALKER

(running back)

Mike Hart, Michigan

Darren McFadden, Arkansas

Steve Slaton, West Virginia

HOME DEPOT COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD

Greg Schiano, Rutgers

JIM THORPE AWARD

(defensive back)

Leon Hall, Michigan

Reggie Nelson, Florida

Aaron Ross, Texas

LOU GROZA COLLEGIATE KICKER AWARD

Arthur Carmody, Louisville

Garrett Hartley, Oklahoma

John Vaughn, Auburn

MAXWELL AWARD

(best all-around player)

Brady Quinn, Notre Dame

Ray Rice, Rutgers

Troy Smith, Ohio State

MAXWELL FOOTBALL CLUB DEFENSIVE

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

(Chuck Bednarik Trophy)

Dan Connor, Penn State

Paul Posluszny, Penn State

Lamarr Woodley, Michigan

OUTLAND TROPHY

(interior lineman)

Justin Blalock, Texas

Dan Mozes, West Virginia

Joe Thomas, Wisconsin

RAY GUY AWARD

(punter)

Durant Brooks, Georgia Tech

Jeremy Kapinos, Penn State

Daniel Sepulveda, Baylor

NCFAA - Contribution to College Football

Chuck Neinas, college football consultant

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advertisement
Advertisement