Already named to several preseason All-America teams, Greg Romeus recently was named as a candidate for the 2009 Chuck Bednarik Award, annually presented to the nation's top defensive player by the Maxwell Football Club.
The preseason list is comprised of 55 players who were selected based on their performance during the 2008 season. The Bednarik Award has been presented since 1995 and is named in honor of Chuck Bednarik, the college and pro Hall-of-Famer who starred with the University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL.
"All these honors are nice, but I'm only concerned with helping the University of Pittsburgh football team win football games,'' Romeus said. "If I can do that, then maybe I'll get considered by the end of the season. And if I am a finalist for that list and others, that's good news for the Panthers.''
Romeus (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Glades) enjoyed an All-Big East campaign as a third-year sophomore last year, compiling 51 tackles, 15.5 stops behind the line, 7.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He additionally blocked three extra points. Romeus concluded the season by being named the Most Valuable Lineman of the Sun Bowl after collecting two sacks (for 20 yards in losses) and four total tackles against Oregon State.
"Greg had a terrific season last year, but we expect him to be even better this season,'' Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said. "We expect a lot from our defense overall, because if we're going to be successful we're going to have to have a good year defensively. And Greg Romeus will be a big part of that.''
Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced November 4 and three finalists will be announced November 23. The winner of the 2009 Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show December 10. The formal presentation of the award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City March 5, 2010.
The Panthers have a 12-game regular-season schedule this fall, including seven contests at Heinz Field. Pitt opens the season against Youngstown State Sept. 5 at 1 p.m. at Heinz Field. Other home games are against Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Navy, Syracuse and South Florida.
Road games are at Buffalo, North Carolina State, Rutgers and West Virginia.
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