PISCATAWAY, NJ – Rutgers senior defensive end Ryan Neill (Wayne, NJ) has been named a finalist for two prestigious national awards -- the Wuerffel Trophy and the Hendricks Award.
Earlier this season, Neill was a semifinalist for the Draddy Trophy, was a candidate for the National Football Foundation’s Scholar-Athlete Award and was a member of the Lombardi Trophy Watch List. As of Nov. 6, he is third nationally in tackles for loss (2.00 per game) and 25th in the nation in sacks (0.78 per game). Named the BIG EAST Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in RU’s 38-6 victory against Villanova Sept. 10, Neill has tallied 57 total tackles (20 solo, 37 assisted) in the first nine games this season, including 18 for a total loss of 79 yards. He has added seven sacks for a loss of 53 yards, one fumble forced and a fumble recovered. A first-team all-BIG EAST selection in 2004, Neill was second in the league in sacks (0.73 per game) and fourth in TFLs (1.18 per game) last season.
The Wuerffel Trophy is presented to the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement. Nominees must own at least a 3.0 grade point average (additional merit weight given based upon the player’s college and major field of study), be a first-team player and major contributor (additional consideration given to those who have been voted to all-conference and/or All-America teams), and be a consistent and sustained participant in community service projects. The Wuerffel Trophy, named after former Florida Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel, is presented by the All Sports Association of Fort Walton Beach, FL. Neill is one of 13 finalists for this year’s Wurffel Trophy.
Neill is one of six finalists for the Hendricks Award, presented to the nation’s top defensive end. The award is handed out by the Ted Hendricks Foundation, and is the namesake of the Pro Football Hall of Famer.
The Scarlet Knights, 6-3 overall and 3-2 in BIG EAST Play, will take on No. 23/23 Louisville (6-2, 2-2 BIG EAST) Friday, Nov. 11, at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN2.