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Chicago, IL Virginia senior defensive end Chris Long has been named the winner of the 2007 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award. The award is presented by The Hendricks Foundation and named in honor of the former University of Miami three-time All-American and NFL Hall of Famer.

“I was proud to have Chris and all of the other men on my list of finalists, and I congratulate Chris on his terrific season,” Hendricks said. “My voters were very definitive in their decision this year, and I don’t think they could have made a better choice. I look forward to watching Chris play in the coming years.”

Long becomes the third Cavalier player to win a national individual football award. In 1941 Bill Dudley was named the Maxwell Award winner as the Collegiate Player of the Year. In 2004 Heath Miller was voted the Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end.

“It is a great honor to win this award,” Long said. “He (Ted Hendricks) and my father were teammates with the Raiders for several years and my dad talks about the passion and enthusiasm Ted demonstrated on the field. I try to play to the same high standards at which Mr. Hendricks played.

“All of the other candidates were deserving and I feel blessed to be mentioned with all of them. It is a tremendous feeling to be the recipient of the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award.”

In all, eight players were finalists for this year’s Hendricks Award. According to the Hendricks Foundation, Long received more than 60 percent of the votes, the most ever for a winner in the history of the award.

The Hendricks Award finalists are evaluated based upon on-field performance, leadership abilities and contributions to the school and community. Candidates may represent any class (freshman through senior) as well as any recognized four-year NCAA member school (Division I through Division III). Voters for the Hendricks Award include college coaches, former players and coaches, media members and professional football scouts.

Previous award recipients include Terrell Suggs of Arizona State (2002), David Pollack of Georgia (2003, 04), Elvis Dumervil of Louisville (2005) and LaMarr Woodley of Michigan (2006).

The ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year, Long led the ACC and was third in the NCAA FBS in sacks (14.0). This sack total equaled or surpassed the total recorded by 10 NCAA teams. Long also led his conference with 19.0 tackles-for-loss (tied for 10th in NCAA). One-quarter of Long’s 75 tackles this season were made behind the line of scrimmage.

Long’s accolades this season include:
First-Team All-America honors from the American Football Coaches Association
First-Team All-America honors from
First-Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors
Finalist for the Lott, Lombardi and Nagurski Awards
Two-time ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week.

At Virginia, Long has been a two-time team captain. His career totals include 22 sacks, 43 tackles-for-loss, 15 passes broken up, 69 QB hurries and 183 tackles. In his final regular season home game, Virginia paid tribute to Long by retiring his No. 91 jersey.

Born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Hendricks played professionally for the Baltimore Colts from 1969-73, the Green Bay Packers in 1974 and the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders from 1975-1983. He was named to the Pro Bowl eight times and is a member of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team. He was a member of three of the Raiders Super Bowl Championship teams (XI, XV and XVIII). He and Chris Long’s father, Howie, played together for the Raiders from 1981-83.

The Hendricks Foundation will hold a banquet in the spring to honor Long as the recipient of this year’s award. The Ted Hendricks Foundation’s goals are aimed at providing assistance to local and national charities through awards, grants and scholarship programs aimed at recreational, health and educational programs for both youth and seniors. It has benefited programs such as Special Olympics, Alzheimer’s and Dementia Research, Cystic Fibrosis, ALS Research, numerous children’s hospitals, child abuse victims and literacy programs.

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