News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Alabama's Ryan wins hardware
Trip to West Coast yields Lott Trophy for on-, off-field work

By Kyle Veazey
DAILY Sports Writer 340-2460

Alabama linebacker DeMeco Ryans spent all week on the road, attending one awards presentation after another.

Late Sunday night in Newport Beach, Calif., he finally attended one in which he was the guest of honor.

Ryans was named the winner of the Lott Trophy, which is handed out to the nation's top defensive player. The Lott is awarded based on both on-field performance and personal character.

"This was the best trophy I could have received on this whirlwind tour," Ryans said. "It stands for more than just football, but also what kind of a person you are off the field. People focus more on the negative in football and nobody looks at the positive stuff that all these guys are doing off the field."

Ryans graduated from Alabama in seven semesters with a 3.7 grade point average. The senior from Bessemer's Jess Lanier High led Alabama in tackles this season.

He beat finalists A.J. Hawk from Ohio State and Darryl Tapp from Virginia Tech. Georgia's David Pollack won the award last year.

The award, named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, means something to the school, too: Alabama will receive $25,000 from The Pacific Club for its general scholarship fund.

Ryans already has won The AssociatedPress' Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year award and received a spot on the Football Writers Association All-America team. The APAll-America team will be released today.

  • It's T-Day: Tim Tebow, the top quarterback prospect in the nation, will announce his college choice at a news conference today. It'll be televised at 4:10 p.m. on ESPNEWS.

    Tebow, from St. Augustine, Fla., led Nease High to the Florida Class 5A state title over the weekend.

    Crimson Tide head coach Mike Shula was in Tebow's home Monday night, making a last-minute pitch to one of the highest-profile recruits with which Alabama has been involved in some time.

    Tebow's announcement will bring resolution, for better or for worse, to Tide fans and recruitniks everywhere. One popular Alabama recruiting site,, had a clock on its front page Monday, counting down the hours, minutes and seconds until Tebow's press conference.

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