FWAA announces watch list for 2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy

ffaw_redesignList updated on Sept. 29, 2015

Scooby Wright III, the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner, tops the 92-man 2015 Bronko Nagurski Watch List announced by the Football Writers Association of America.

Wright, a junior linebacker from Arizona, will seek to become only the second player in the 22-year history of the award to win it twice after Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald in 1995-96.

Ohio State end Joey Bosa, another first team FWAA All-America from 2014, also returns as a junior to challenge Wright.

There are five FWAA second-teamer All-Americas from a year ago on the 2015 Watch List:   Michigan State end Shilique Calhoun, and defensive backs Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech, Jeremy Cash of Duke, Jalen Ramsey of Florida State and Michael Caputo of Wisconsin .

Bronko Nagurski Trophy

Bronko Nagurski Trophy

Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. Once again, the FWAA will announce a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday from early September through mid November. If not already on the watch list, the honored player will be added at that time. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 19.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2014 FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s entire membership, selects the 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner, the best defensive player in college football during the FWAA’s 75th anniversary year.

The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be on Dec. 7 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte. In addition to the 2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner’s announcement, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by the CTC and Florida East Coast Railway. Ohio State’s Randy Gradishar, a member of the FWAA’s 1973 All-America team and a College Football Hall of Famer, will be honored. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.

The FWAA has named a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated college football then became a star for professional football’s Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw “Bronko” Nagurski is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.



Andrew Billings, Baylor

Kenny Clark, UCLA

Maliek Collins, Nebraska

Sheldon Day, Notre Dame

Adam Gotsis, Georgia Tech

Chris Jones, Mississippi State

Gerrand Johnson, Louisiana-Monroe

Luther Maddy, Virginia Tech

Corey Marshall, Virginia Tech

Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss

A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama

Travis Tuiloma, BYU

Adolphus Washington, Ohio State

Anthony Zettel, Penn State


Jonathan Allen, Alabama

Derek Barnett, Tennessee

Joey Bosa, Ohio State

DeForest Buckner, Oregon

Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State

Kamalei Correa, Boise State

Ken Ekanem, Virginia Tech

Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

Jordan Jenkins, Georgia

Bronson Kaufusi, BYU

Carl Lawson Auburn

Shawn Oakman, Baylor

Pat O’Connor, Eastern Michigan

Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State

Drew Ott, Iowa

Dale Pierson, Iowa State

Dadi Nicolas, Virginia Tech

Sheldon Rankins, Louisville

Pete Robertson, Texas Tech

Ian Seau, Nevada

Charles Tapper, Oklahoma

Lawrence Thomas, Michigan State


Dominique Alexander, Oklahoma

Kendell Beckwith, LSU

Vince Biegel, Wisconsin

Kentrell Brothers, Missouri

Riley Bullough, Michigan State

James Burgess, Louisville

Su’a Cravens, USC

Kyler Fackrell, Utah State

Leonard Floyd, Georgia

Darron Lee, Ohio State

Curt Maggitt, Tennessee

Blake Martinez, Stanford

Tyler Matakevich, Temple

Cassanova McKinzy, Auburn

Antonio Morrison, Florida

Jared Norris, Utah

Joshua Perry, Ohio State

Reggie Ragland, Alabama

Jovan Santos-Knox, UMass

Joe Schmidt, Notre Dame

Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame

Terrance Smith, Florida State

Eric Striker, Oklahoma

Jeremy Timpf, Army

Anthony Walker, Northwestern

Scooby Wright III, Arizona


Budda Baker, Washington

Dante Barnett, Kansas State

Vonn Bell, Ohio State

Quin Blanding, Virginia

Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Minnesota

Maurice Canady, Virginia

Michael Caputo, Wisconsin

Lloyd Carrington, Arizona State

Jeremy Cash, Duke

Tony Conner, Mississippi

Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech

Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida

Adoree’ Jackson, USC

William Jackson, Houston

Jonathan Jones, Auburn

Karl Joseph, West Virginia

William Likely, Maryland

Jordan Lucas, Penn State

Danzel McDaniel, Kansas State

Adrian McDonald, Houston

Jalen Mills, LSU

Fabian Moreau, UCLA

Eric Murray. Minnesota

Kai Nacua, BYU

Jalen Ramsey, Florida State

Will Redmond, Mississippi State

KeiVarae Russell, Notre Dame

Zack Sanchez, Oklahoma

Jordan Simone, Arizona State

Darian Thompson, Boise State

RJ Williamson, Michigan State

Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech

Ronald Zamort, Western Michigan

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in its 75th year of existence, consists of 1,400 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at tiger@fwaa.com.

The Charlotte Touchdown Club was founded in 1991 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, N.C., region. The club’s activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship, scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and coaches. For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or jrocco@touchdownclub.com). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.com.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast more than 700 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit http://www.NCFAA.org to learn more about our story.

Beginning in 2015, The Home Depot College Football Awards will have a new home at the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience in downtown Atlanta. Airing live on ESPN on December 10, 2015, college football’s brightest stars will be honored for their performance on and off the field. The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 11-day period this month. Sixteen of the association’s 22 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the complete 2015 preseason watch list calendar:

Tues., July 7: Bednarik Award / Maxwell Award

Wed., July 8:   Mackey Award / Rimington Trophy

Thurs., July 9: Lou Groza Award / Ray Guy Award

Fri., July 10: Bronko Nagurski Trophy / Outland Trophy

Mon., July 13: Jim Thorpe Award

Tues., July 14: Butkus Award / Rotary Lombardi Award

Wed., July 15: Biletnikoff Award / Wuerffel Trophy

Thurs, July 16: Davey O’Brien Award / Doak Walker Award

Fri., July 17: Walter Camp Award