Ryans wins Lott Trophy as best defensive player

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Alabama linebacker DeMeco Ryans
received the Lott Trophy on Sunday night as the nation's
outstanding defensive player.

Ryans, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound senior, led Alabama in tackles this
season and was the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the
year. He graduated from school in seven semesters with a 3.7 grade-
point average.

No. 13 Alabama (9-2) will play No. 18 Texas Tech (9-2) in the
AT&T Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2.

The Lott Trophy, based on personal character as well as
performance, is named after Ronnie Lott, a Hall of Fame defensive
back who starred at Southern California and was an All-Pro in the

Lott presented the trophy to Ryans at The Pacific Club, sponsor
of the award. Finalists A.J. Hawk of Ohio State and Darryl Tapp of
Virginia Tech also were in attendance.

Last year's winner was David Pollack, the All-America defensive
end from Georgia who was a first-round pick of the Cincinnati

Voting for the winner was conducted by Ernst & Young, with
ballots being sent to college offensive and defensive coordinators,
national media and The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation Board of
Directors, a board of advisers made up of former NFL players, and

There were 42 players on the original watch list this season.

Alabama will receive $25,000 from The Pacific Club's IMPACT
Foundation for its general scholarship fund.