Neb's Dennard seeking national validation in bowl

By Eric Olson

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 20 2011 4:01 p.m. MST

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard is looking for some validation as he enters the Capital One Bowl against No. 10 South Carolina on Jan. 2.

Dennard earned All-Big Ten honors and won the conference's inaugural Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year Award. He was not, however, among even the 15 semifinalists for the Thorpe Award as the nation's premier defensive back.

Dennard said he figured he wouldn't win the Thorpe because he missed the first three games with a muscle strain in his right leg. But he says he's upset he wasn't a finalist.

Coach Bo Pelini said Dennard will get his due in April at the NFL draft. He is projected to be a first-round pick.

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