Big 12: Ronnie Lott

Weatherspoon among seven Big 12 players on Lott watch list

April, 9, 2009
4/09/09
11:23
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Missouri senior linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is among nine 2009 quarterfinalists for the Lott Award.

Weatherspoon, a key producer on Missouri's back-to-back teams that made Big 12 championship games, was the only Big 12 quarterfinalist on the Lott Award's first watch list.

Other Big 12 players included were Texas Tech linebacker Brian Duncan, Texas linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy, Baylor linebacker Joe Pawelek, Kansas safety Darrell Stuckey, Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

Thirty-eight different schools are represented on the Watch List. Alabama, BYU, Georgia and UCLA each have two players nominated.

Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, The Lott Trophy is awarded to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Now in its sixth year, The Lott Trophy is the only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the winning player.

Other quarterfinalists who joined Weatherspoon on the list include Northwestern defensive end Corey Wooton, Tennessee defensive back Eric Berry, Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich, South Carolina defensive end Eric Norwood, Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes, Kentucky defensive end Jeremy Jarmon, BYU defensive end Jan Jorgensen and South Florida defensive end George Selvie.

It's good to see some Big 12 defensive players receive some national notoriety. Because once the season begins and the offenses start clicking across the conference, it likely again will be hard for most defenders across the conference to get much positive publicity.

Mack Brown's finishing school emphasizing dinner manners

March, 5, 2009
3/05/09
7:50
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

College is a time for learning -- both inside and outside the classroom.

The Texas Longhorns are discovering much more this spring than how to make form tackles and provide crunching downfield blocks.

As is coach Mack Brown's usual custom each spring, members of the team are attending a workshop on developing proper dining manners and formal etiquette. While there, they learn the difference between a salad fork and a butter knife and all of the other habits that would make Miss Manners proud.

The Longhorns' Fine Dining class has taught players how to conduct themselves in formal dinner situations for the past 12 years. 

Players say that the class gives them confidence to represent the school in formal situations.

"In December, I got to go on the national awards circuit," former Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo told TexasSports.com. "I attended more banquets and dinners than I can count with people like Keith Jackson, Howie Long, Ted Hendricks, Ronnie Lott, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and on and on.

"There were also other people who are really important in cities like Charlotte, Houston, Newport Beach, New Haven, which isn't that far from New York. The last thing you want to do is something to embarrass yourself in front of people like that, but I didn't even have to think twice. I was ready."

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