Julius Peppers, the North Carolina defensive end who gave up basketball to concentrate on football, won the Vince Lombardi Award on Wednesday night as the top college lineman.
"He was a target of all the teams we played this year," Tar Heel academic adviser Carl Carey said.
"Teams went into games to stop him, so the fact he still leads our team in interceptions, in sacks, regardless to what other teams have done to stop him, is a credit to him."
Peppers, a junior, has 301/2 career sacks.
He beat out linebacker Rocky Calmus of Oklahoma and defensive ends Alex Brown of Florida and Dwight Freeney of Syracuse for the award.