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Obukwelu Tabbed George “Bulger” Lowe Winner as Top Defensive Player in New England

Nnamdi Obukwelu was a three-time All-Iv League selection during his time at Harvard (Gil Talbot).

BOSTON – Senior defensive tackle Nnamdi Obukwelu of the Harvard football team has been named the recipient of the 75th annual George "Bulger" Lowe Award, "New England's Heisman Trophy," and one of America's oldest college football accolades.

The Bulger Lowe award, presented by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston, recognizes New England's best offensive and defensive players in the NCAA Bowl and Championship Divisions. Obukwelu will share the honor with Boston College running back Andre Williams. Obukwelu will be honored at the club's annual Bob Whelan College Football Awards Night on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 at the Westin Hotel in Waltham, Mass.

Tickets are $50 each or $500 for a table of ten. Order online at www.gridclubofgreaterboston.com, or call club secretary Dick Lawrence at (781) 231-0372. Social hour begins at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

Obukwelu, a three-time All-Ivy League choice, played in nine games during his senior season, recording 31 tackles. A product of Brockton, Mass., Obukwelu had 4.5 sacks and finished with 6.5 tackles for a loss. He also forced and recovered a fumble while garnering All-Ivy first team status.

One of the leaders of Harvard's defensive unit, Obukwelu helped the Crimson rank seventh in the nation in rush defense (97.3 yards allowed per game on the ground). He sacked the quarterback twice and forced a fumble in the 41-35 triple overtime win at Holy Cross Oct. 5. The following Saturday, he made a season-high 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for a loss in the 34-24 victory at Cornell Oct. 12.

Obukwelu becomes the 11th Harvard player selected as recipient of the George "Bulger" Lowe Award, joining Colton Chapple (2012), Ryan Fitzpatrick (2004), Dante Balestracci (2003), Neil Rose (2001), Joseph Azelby (1983), Pat McInally (1974), Bobby Leo (1966), Chester Boulris (1959), Dick Clasby (1953) and Chub Peabody (1941).

About the Gridiron Club, "Keepers of the Flame": Founded in 1932, the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston (www.gridclubofgreaterboston.com) promotes the game of football at all levels and nurtures the ideals of citizenship, sportsmanship, leadership, and athletic and academic achievement. Through its annual dinners and golf tournament, the club carries on its tradition of honoring exemplary players, coaches and officials at all levels of the sport, and supporting worthy charitable causes, especially those that assist children.

The Gridiron Club is steward of some of the most storied awards in American sport. The George H. "Bulger" Lowe Award, established in 1939 and awarded to New England's best college football players, is the country's oldest accolade of its kind after the Heisman Trophy and the Maxwell Award. The Nils V. "Swede" Nelson Award, inaugurated in 1946, recognizes football players who also distinguish themselves in the classroom. In 1977, the club assumed stewardship of the Walter Brown Award, the nation's oldest college hockey honor, which is given to the best American-born college player in New England.