Tom Zbikowski scores his first touchdown of the game against Tennessee, a 78-yard punt return.

Zbikowski A Finalist For Cingular/ABC Sports All-America Player Of The Week Award

Nov. 6, 2005

The national player of the week nominations are in, and for the third time this season, Fighting Irish fans can vote for one of their own. Notre Dame safety Tom Zbikowski is one of four nominees for the Cingular Wireless/ABC Sports All-America Player of the Week, the only major college football honor determined exclusively by fans. Zbikowski was nominated by ABC Sports and ESPN college football analysts after returning a punt and an interception each for a touchdown and leading the team with nine tackles in the Fighting Irish’s 41-21 win over Tennessee. His teammate, quarterback Brady Quinn, has already won the award twice this season.

Like Zbikowksi, the other finalists this week are all first-time nominees. The other finalists include: Penn State defensive end Tamba Hali, who recorded four sacks and five tackles for losses in the Nittany Lions’ 35-14 victory over No. 14 Wisconsin; North Carolina State running back Andre Brown, who rushed for 179 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown run, in the Wolfpack’s 20-15 upset win over No. 9 Florida State; and Florida quarterback Chris Leak, who amassed 324 total yards and five touchdowns in the Gators’ 49-42 double overtime win against Vanderbilt.

Previous Cingular/ABC Sports All-America Player of the Week winners this season include Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley, Texas quarterback Vince Young, Texas A&M quarterback Reggie McNeal, Minnesota running back Laurence Maroney, Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn and UCLA running back Maurice Drew.

Who will be this week’s winner now rests solely in the hands of college football fans nationwide. Fans have until Wednesday, November 9 at 11:59 p.m. EST to submit their votes via wireless text messaging.

The winner will be announced November 10 in the first half of the ESPN Thursday Night College Football Game between Boise State and Fresno State. Fans can learn more about this week’s nominees online at or at Here’s how fans can register to vote for the Cingular/ABC Sports All-America Player of the Week this week and every week throughout the 2005 season:

  • Text “VOTE” to “87654” on yourwireless phone
  • Follow the prompt to vote for your All-America selection
  • Cingular/ABC Sports Player of the Week candidates will be automatically sent out via text messaging each week

Each time fans vote, they are entered into a sweepstakes to win a trip to the Bowl Championship Series game of their choice. Fans can vote as often as they like.

In December, fans will get a chance to say who the best player in the nation is by voting for the Cingular/ABC Sports All-America Player of the Year. The selection process will culminate in December in a one-hour special on ABC Sports when the Cingular/ABC Sports Player of the Year and the Football Writers Association of America All-America team will be announced. Last year, Texas running back and Chicago Bears first round draft pick Cedric Benson was selected by fans as the Player of the Year.

*Other wireless carriers must opt-in for their subscribers to participate