June 7, 2004
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame senior defense end Justin Tuck was among a group of almost 40 preseason players to watch named to the 2004 Hendricks Award Preseason Watch List announced recently by the Hendricks Foundation.
Tuck, who set a school record for quarterback sacks in a season in 2003, enters his senior season at Notre Dame widely regarded as one of the nation’s elite pass rushers. The Kellyton, Ala., native and a graduate of Central Coosa County High School, led the team in sacks and tackles for loss while finishing third in total tackles in 2003. A relative unknown when he signed at Notre Dame in 2001, Tuck was named a third-team freshman All-American by The Sporting News in 2002 when he moved from linebacker to defensive end and has already been mentioned for All-America honors by several preseason magazines for the 2004 season.
In 2003, Tuck finished the season with 73 tackles (43 solos) to rank third on the team, led the Irish with a school-record 13.5 sacks for 106 yards and made 19 tackles for loss (117 yards).
On-field performance, leadership abilities and contributions to school and community are some of the criteria that are used to determine the award’s winner. Candidates may represent any class (freshman through senior) as well as any recognized four-year NCAA accredited school. The candidate’s primary position must be defensive end. In its third year of existence, the Hendricks honor has previously been awarded to Terrell Suggs of Arizona State (2003) and David Pollack of Georgia (2004).
The preseason watch list for the award recognizes players who are worthy of preseason consideration, but does not preclude the possibility that unmentioned players could eventually compete and win the honor this season.