Harry Hugasian

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THERE'S A LOTT RIDING ON THIS SELECTION By Larry Stewart, Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles, CA Dec. 11, 2005

Tonight at a black-tie affair at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, the second Lott Trophy winner will be presented.

The award, created by USC booster John Hamilton and named after former USC defensive back Ronnie Lott, goes to the college football player voted the nation's best on defense. The finalists are linebacker A.J. Hawk of Ohio State, linebacker DeMeco Ryans of Alabama and defensive end Darryl Tapp of Virginia Tech.


Hawk, a two-time All-American, was named the Big Ten defensive player of the year. He also was a near-unanimous choice among Ohio State players as the team's most valuable player.

"He is so humble, the only vote he didn't get was his," Buckeye Coach Jim Tressel said.

Trivia time: Who won the first Lott Trophy?

Armenian connection: A Morning Briefing item about Stanford's Harry Hugasian prompted an e-mail from former Times sports columnist John Hall, a Stanford alum.

"Harry Hugasian was really an outstanding running back," Hall said. "He scored the winning touchdown in a 27-20 thriller over USC in 1951 that knocked the then-7-0 Trojans from the unbeatens and put Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

"Most of all, he was a key part of a group of Stanford Armenian Indians that included Gary Kerkorian, Norm Manoogian, Chuck Essegian and Ed Krapilian, all recruited by Stanford booster Sam Salesian of Pasadena.

"Cheers from John Hallanian in San Clemente."

Not all that rare: After Delaware State took no free throws against UCLA on Nov. 19, veteran broadcaster Tom Kelly said he had never seen such a thing in college basketball.

However, Steven Vanderpool of Stats LLC says it has happened seven other times over the last five seasons. The last time before Nov. 19 was Feb. 15, when Dayton did not shoot a free throw against LaSalle.

Shouldn't be a problem: Randy Hill of Foxsports.com, referring to the new Dodger manager as Grady "Too" Little," wrote that he "is the rascal who alienated New England by choosing to leave Pedro Martinez on the mound during the eighth inning of a disastrous 2003 American League championship series game with the New York Yankees."

Added Hill: "Doomsday-thinking Dodger fans should relax. Grady may not even have a starter capable of consistently reaching the eighth inning."

Looking back: On this day in 1971, the Lakers, on their way to winning 33 consecutive games, won their 21st straight, 104-95 over the Atlanta Hawks, breaking the NBA record for consecutive victories, set by the Milwaukee Bucks the previous season.

Trivia answer: David Pollack, a defensive end at Georgia, now a linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals.

And finally: New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady, asked by Bob Costas on HBO to what lengths people will go to meet him, said, "I have had people invite me to weddings to be the best man -- guys I've never even met."

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