After Week 13, Ryans ranks second in the NFL with 88 solo tackles.
DAPHNE, Alabama – Sports fans from around the country can begin voting online for the 2007 United States Sports Academy Alabama Athlete of the Year presented by al.com on 30 November.
Votes will be collected online through 24 December. The ballot will be located on a website hosted by the Academy, which will be available through direct links from the webpages of al.com. To submit your vote, please visit www.al.com/sports or http://www.ussa.edu/AAOY/index.asp.
Media outlets and sports organizations are encouraged to link to the online vote. For questions, please contact the Academy Communications Department at (251) 626-3303.
The Academy Alabama Athlete of the Year ballot is the culmination of the Academy's yearlong Alabama Athlete of the Month program, which recognizes the accomplishments of men and women in any sport in the state of Alabama. The Academy Alabama Athlete of the Month is selected by a voting committee comprised of former Alabama athletes, state-wide media and Alabama sports organization representatives.
The Alabama Athlete of the Year award is given to an athlete beyond the high school level who was either born in, is currently playing in or has previously participated in sports at any level within the state of Alabama.
The 2007 ballot includes Auburn kicker Wes Byrum, Auburn swimmer Cesar Cielo, University of Alabama Birmingham basketball player Carmen Guzman, Alabama receiver D.J. Hall, San Diego Padres pitcher and Mobile native Jake Peavy, Alabama gymnast Kassi Price, Houston Texans linebacker and former Alabama player DeMeco Ryans, Auburn decathlete Maurice Smith, Auburn sprinter Kerron Stewart, Auburn high jumper Donald Thomas, Arizona Diamondback and former Mobile Baybears outfielder Justin Upton and reigning Alabama Athlete of the Year Pat White, a quarterback at West Virginia University.
The athlete receiving the most fan votes will be named the Academy Alabama Athlete of the Year. Past winners include Vonetta Flowers, Cornelius Bennett, Shaun Alexander, Charles Barkley, Davey Allison and Tim Hudson. For a complete list, click here.
"Hosting an online vote is exciting because we receive feedback from a wide range of sports fans who will ultimately decide the best athlete in Alabama," Academy President Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich said. "Our partner, al.com, makes it possible for this vote to reach fans from around the country 24-hours a day."
Last year, the leading overall vote-getter was West Virginia quarterback and Daphne native Patrick White, who beat out Seattle Seahawk running back Shaun Alexander and Louisiana State quarterback JaMarcus Russell.
al.com, based in Birmingham, Alabama, is an affiliate of Advance Internet, Inc., a leading creator of highly interactive, online community-based news and information websites created in alliance with over 28 newspapers owned and operated by Advance Publications Inc., and its subsidiaries, including The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times *and Mobile's *Press Register. In addition to al.com, Advance Internet, Inc. develops and manages nine other local websites including cleveland.com; MassLive.com; MLive.com; NJ.com; NOLA.com; OregonLive.com; PennLive.com; SILive.com; Syracuse.com and two specialty websites, gulflive.com and MardiGras.com.
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and the world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports.
For more information about the United States Sports Academy, "America's Sports University," call 251-626-3303 or visit the Academy's website http://www.ussa.edu.