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UCLA REPORT

Ball Is Selected All-American

November 26, 2003|From Staff Reports

UCLA senior defensive end Dave Ball, who leads the nation in quarterback sacks, on Tuesday was selected a first-team All-American by the Football Writers Assn. of America.

Ball, who is among five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Award honoring the nation's top defensive player, has 16 1/2 sacks this season, a Bruin record.

The previous mark of 13 had been set by Carnell Lake in 1987. Ball holds the school's career mark for sacks with 30 1/2. Eric Smith had held the previous record of 26 1/2.

Ball is among four finalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award honoring the nation's top lineman, and among six finalists for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award.

Ball will travel to Charlotte, N.C., on Dec. 8 for the Nagurski Award banquet. That will be followed by trips to Houston on Dec. 10 for the Rotary Lombardi Award dinner, and to Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 12 for a celebration of the FWAA All-American team.

Tuesday at the UCLA awards banquet, Ball and receiver Craig Bragg were selected the team's most valuable players.

Bragg, a junior, has led the Bruins in receiving the last three seasons. This season he had 68 catches for 994 yards and four touchdowns.

Among the other team award winners presented were best leadership, offense: running back Manuel White, defense: linebacker Brandon Chillar; most improved, offense: center Robert Chai, defense: cornerback Keith Short; rookie of the year: running back Maurice Drew; special teams player: linebacker Nick Carey; all-around excellence: Mat Ball; "Heart" Award: defensive linemen Rodney Leisle and Asi Faoa.

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