The Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year award will be announced tomorrow during a 12:30 p.m. CT press conference in South Florida. Texans linebacker Brian Cushing is one of five finalists.
Cushing already has won AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and was named to the Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro squads. For the Pepsi award, he's a finalist along with Jairus Byrd of the Buffalo Bills, Percy Harvin of the Minnesota Vikings, Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers and Michael Oher of the Baltimore Ravens. Cushing and Matthews, whose uncle Bruce Matthews is a Texans offensive assistant, were linebacker teammates at USC.
The awards ceremony will take place at the NFL Media Center in Fort Lauderdale, where I've been camped out all week helping out with the NFL's PR staff. I'll be sure to attend the ceremony and report back afterward with Cushing's reaction, win or lose. He's certainly got the credentials worthy of a winner, but it's hard to peg a likely winner since this award is determined by fan votes tallied on NFL.com.
Running back Domanick Davis/Williams is the only Texans player who has won the award. He did so after his rookie season in 2003.