Before the season, most of the Thorpe award hype was around Texas safety Michael Griffin, but Ross came up with big play after big play for the Longhorns in 2006 and came home with the hardware. This season, Ross had 73 tackles, one sack, five interceptions, 18 pass break-ups, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, including the game sealing touchdown return against Oklahoma.
Offensive guard Justin Blalock was also in attendance as a nominee for the Outland Trophy, which goes to the nation's top lineman, but was beaten out by Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas. Blalock was also a finalist the night before for the Lombardi Award in Houston. Lombardi Award is presented to the nation's top college lineman or linebacker and went to Michigan defensive end LaMarr Woodley.