Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, members of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation Board of Directors, the Legends Coaches and distinguished alumni of various schools around the nation.
The 6-foot-6, 270-pound Romeus (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Glades) enters his final collegiate season holding status as one of college football's top players regardless of position. Last year he was a unanimous first-team All-Big East selection after collecting 43 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and a team-high eight sacks. He additionally had three forced fumbles, an interception, a fumble recovery and blocked PAT.
Romeus was named a finalist for the 2009 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award and additionally was selected to three different All-America teams, including CollegeFootballNews.com (second team), Sporting News (third team) and Rivals (third team).
His play paced a defensive unit that ranked among the nation's Top 30 in eight different categories. The Panthers led the entire country in sacks with 3.62 per game (47 total).
Romeus and the Pitt football team conclude spring drills this week with the annual Blue-Gold Game on April 17 at Heinz Field.
Fans are encouraged to arrive at Heinz Field beginning at noon for the second annual "Pitt Spring Football Festival." The event will be highlighted by a free youth clinic for kids 12 and under beginning at 12:30 p.m. Kids will receive personal instruction from the Pitt players right on the playing surface of Heinz Field. Additionally, there will be a Pitt Coaches "Chalk Talk" at 12:30 p.m., in the West Club. Coach Wannstedt and his staff will discuss football strategy and take questions from fans on the "Xs and Os" of the game.
Admission is free. Parking is available for $5 in Gold lots 1 and 2. Heinz Field gates open at noon.
For fans who cannot make it to Heinz, the Blue-Gold Game will be simulcast live to local and national television audiences via Pittsburgh's CW (WPCW-TV) and the NFL Network. The two-hour telecast will begin at 2 p.m., and feature Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt as color analyst and Bob Pompeani calling the play-by-play action. Additionally, Jory Rand will provide special reports from the field.
Over the past two seasons, Pitt has produced 19 wins, the second highest total in the Big East Conference and among the top 25 nationally. The Panthers are 20-7 (.741) over their last 27 games, dating back to the landmark 13-9 upset at West Virginia on Dec. 1, 2007 — the first victory over a team ranked No. 1 in school history.
The 2010 Panthers are already earning preseason Top 25 recognition from such entities as Rivals.com (No. 13), ESPN.com (No. 14), SportsIllustrated.com (No. 16), ESPN "College Football Live" (No. 16) and CBSSports.com (No. 24).
Pitt will play one of the most-anticipated season openers in the country in 2010 when it travels to Utah for a Sept. 2 game. The Panthers and Utes will kick off at 8:30 p.m. (ET) for a national telecast on Versus.