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Charlottesville, VA – Virginia junior cornerback Ras-I Dowling (Chesapeake, Va.) is one of 62 players named to the 2009 Bronko Nagurski Watch List that was announced by the Football Writers Association of America. The Nagurski Trophy is awarded annually to the nation’s best defensive player by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club. The trophy has been presented since 1993 and is awarded in memory of the legendary Nagurski, an All-America lineman at Minnesota in 1927-29 and a star for professional football’s Chicago Bears in the 1930s.

Earlier this summer Dowling was named to the 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Football Team. The team was voted on by media attending the ACC’s annual Kickoff event in Greensboro.

Dowling earned All-ACC honors last season after leading the Cavaliers with three interceptions and 11 pass breakups. He appeared in 11 games, starting nine times, and finished with 43 tackles. He ranked third in the ACC in pass defenses (pass break ups and interceptions) with 14. He was 11th in the nation in that category.

Dowling enters his junior season with five career interceptions and 87 total tackles. He has 25 career pass defenses.

The Bronko Nagurski Watch List is fluid. Players may be added or removed during the season. After the first four games of the season, the FWAA will revise the list and at that time school sports information directors may submit names for players not on the list to the FWAA and their conference’s FWAA All-America Committee representative.

Each week during the 2009 season, the FWAA will choose a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week. If the selected player is not on the watch list, he automatically will be added. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy on November 18 or 19.

The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet will be on Dec. 7 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. Besides the 2009 winner being announced, the banquet will also celebrate the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, presented by CSX Intermodal. Defensive back Roger Wehrli, a standout for the University of Missouri and the St. Louis Cardinals, is being honored from the FWAA’s 1968 All-American team.

Click here to see the entire list of players on the Nagurski Watch List.

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