Jan. 8, 2004
UCLA senior defensive end Dave Ball, who helped the Bruins rank 18th in the nation and second in the Pac-10 to Oregon State in total defense, has been named the winner of the Pop Warner Award, presented annually to the top senior college football player on the West Coast.
Ball is the seventh UCLA player to win the award, joining Cade McNown (1998), Skip Hicks (1997), Jerry Robinson (1978), Gary Beban (1967), Bill Kilmer (1960) and Bob Davenport (1955).
Ball, who tied for the national lead with 16.5 quarterback sacks, was selected as the ABC-Chevrolet National Defensive Player of the Year. He was named one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Award, presented to the nation's top defensive player. He was one of four finalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award (outstanding lineman) and one of six finalists for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award.
Ball was voted a first-team All-American (Walter Camp Football Foundation, American Football Coaches Assn., The Sporting News, collegefootballnews.com, College Sports TV and the Football Writers Assn. of America) and was selected the Pacific-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He was also the defensive winner of the Morris Trophy, awarded to the top offensive and defensive linemen in the Pac-10 by vote of their opposition.
On the year, he led the defensive line with 59 tackles (fifth on the team), including 16.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss, both team highs. He also led the team with five forced fumbles. Ball tied for the lead in the Pacific-10 Conference with his 16.5 sacks and ranked third with his 20.5 TFL and his five fumbles forced.
Ball tied for the national lead in quarterback sacks (16.5) and also ranked ninth (tied) in the NCAA with 0.38 fumbles forced per game and 15th (tied) with 1.58 tackles for loss per game.