WILMINGTON, Del. --  Paul Worrilow, a native Delawarean who followed an All-American football career at the University of Delaware with a standout rookie season in the National Football League this past fall, was honored Monday by the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association (DSBA) with its John J. Brady Delaware Athlete of the Year Award.

The award was presented as part of the 65th annual DSBA Banquet, which was held at the Sheraton Hotel Wilmington South. Worrilow, who was not able to attend the event due to a team commitment in Atlanta, earned one of five awards presented at the luncheon, which celebrated the 2013 sports year in the state.

"I want to thank the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association for this great honor,” said Worrilow, a linebacker who led the Atlanta Falcons in tackles in 2013. “I take a lot of pride in the fact that I grew up in Delaware and played football at the University of Delaware. This is an award that I will always cherish."

A native of Wilmington, Worrilow was an All-State player at Concord High School who walked-on at Delaware and became a four-year starter, a three-year All-Colonial Athletic Association selection, a two-time team captain, and a 2012 All-American. He ranks fifth on the all-time UD tackles list with 377 and played a key role for the 2010 Delaware team that advanced to the NCAA FCS national championship game.

An undrafted free agent, Worrilow earned a tryout with the Falcons and made the team in pre-season. After seeing limited action early in the campaign, he took over a starting role four games in and finished with a team-high 127 tackles, which ranked 12th among all NFL players and second among rookies. He also had two sacks, one pass breakup, and four tackles for loss. He had 19 tackles in consecutive games against NFC playoff participant Carolina and Super Bowl champion Seattle in early November and added 16 stops the following week against Tampa Bay.

Worrilow is the second straight University of Delaware student-athlete to earn the Brady Award and the sixth in the last seven years. He is also the eighth UD football player and the 14th Blue Hen student-athlete overall to win the award since it was first presented in 1949.

Other winners with UD ties were Bob Trivits (football, 1954); Al Neiger (baseball, 1959); Mike Brown (football & track, 1963); Herb Slattery (football, 1966); Dick Kelley (football, 1969); Steve Taylor (baseball, 1977); Bill Vergantino (football, 1992); Daryl Brown (football, 1994); Kevin Mench (baseball, 1998); Eddie Conti (football & track, 1998); Tyresa Smith (basketball, 2007); Casey Howard (field hockey, 2009); and Elena Delle Donne (basketball, 2008, 2010, and 2012).

In addition to Worrilow’s Delaware Athlete of the Year Award, the Salesianum School boy’s soccer team was honored as Team of the Year; Polytech High School field hockey and girl’s lacrosse head coach Lynn Richardson - a former field hockey and lacrosse standout at Delaware - earned the Tubby Raymond Coach of the Year Award;  Tony DeFazio earned the Herm Reitzes Award for community service; and Mike DeStasio and Erin Wendelburg shared the inaugural Buddy Hurlock Unsung Hero Award for overcoming adversity.

Salesianum, which also won the Delaware Team of the Year Award in 2004, captured the boy’s state soccer title in 2013 with an undefeated 17-0-1 record; Richardson was named the state Coach of the Year in both her sports during the 2013 calendar year; DeFazio is a tireless youth sports volunteer and game official in Sussex County; DeStasio is a national champion All-Wheel bowler from Sussex County who was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease) in 2008; and Wendelburg is a senior member of the St. Elizabeth High School Dance Team who has overcome the death of both parents and recovered from a brain tumor.