Defensive tackle Chad Hennings became the first player from the Air Force Academy to win the Outland Trophy Wednesday, then said he would try to become the first athlete from the academy to escape his military obligation.
The Outland Trophy is awarded to the nation's top interior lineman. Hennings, who is 6 feet 6 inches and 260 pounds, was selected over finalists Daniel Stubbs of Miami and Michael Dean Perry of Clemson, both defensive linemen, by the Football Writers Assn. of America. Perry is the younger brother of William (the Refrigerator) Perry of the Chicago Bears.
"I'm surprised," said Hennings, who had 87 tackles and 24 sacks this year. "Coming from a small school, from the Air Force, it doesn't get the recognition of Miami or Clemson."
Hennings said he will appeal to the Air Force to release him from his minimum requirement of five years of military service so he can play in the National Football League.