|LSU's Dorsey presented with Outland Trophy|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 10 January 2008 17:46|
Pelini, who coached the Tigers' defense in LSU's 38-24 victory over Ohio State in the BCS national championship game Monday night, introduced Dorsey before the tackle accepted the Outland Trophy as the nation's best interior lineman.
``Coming up here, I didn't know he was going to be here, so this is kind of my last opportunity to be with him, so to me it's real special,'' Dorsey said. ``He's kind of a father figure to me; I can call and talk to him anytime.''
When the player finally came face-to-face with his coach at a reception before the dinner, the pair embraced in a half-hug and joked heartily as they posed for pictures with passing fans, Dorsey smiling as he clutched his trophy.
``He's not only a great football player, he's a better person,'' Pelini said of the player hoping to be picked No. 1 in the NFL draft. ``He's a leader and he's the type of guy that we want in our program here at Nebraska. He's a total package.''
Dorsey said he was glad - but not surprised - that Pelini coached LSU's defense in its bowl game even after accepting the Nebraska job more than a month earlier.
``He puts his heart and soul into everything, that's why I wasn't surprised when he came back to coach in that championship game,'' Dorsey said. ``He starts whatever he finishes.''
Dorsey led Pelini's unit on the field that outplayed the nation's top-ranked defense, stifling Ohio State's offense as the Tigers scored 31 straight points after trailing by 10 early in the game. The Tigers allowed the Buckeyes to convert just three times on 13 third-down attempts.
The Outland is one of a handful Dorsey earned in a season he played at less than full strength. Battling knee and tailbone injuries and constant double-teams, he still managed strong enough numbers to win the Outland, the Lombardi Award (outstanding lineman) and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (outstanding defensive player). Dorsey was also named the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year.
The All-American had 39 solo tackles, 25 assists, 11 1/2 tackles for losses, six sacks, four pass breakups and four quarterback hurries in 13 games.
Dorsey chose to return to LSU for his senior season instead of opting for the NFL draft, passing on a huge payday as many thought him a sure first-round pick.
The 6-foot-2, 303-pound Dorsey said earlier he would have regretted leaving early for the NFL. He said he didn't prefer any particular team to draft him in April, but said he was a fan of the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys as a kid.
Former Oklahoma star Lee Roy Selmon also was on hand to accept a trophy for the Outland he won in 1975, after two years of leading a dominant defense on back-to-back national title teams. Winners didn't start getting an actual trophy until the late 1980s, so a past recipient is brought back each year for his own hardware.
``It's just as humbling as it was back in 1975 receiving a plaque,'' said Selmon, the top pick in the 1976 NFL draft. He played for Tampa Bay until 1984 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995.
``I'm going to probably display it at my home or maybe my restaurant.''