Photo gallery: 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy presentation banquet

The 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy was awarded to Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen on Dec. 5 at a banquet organized by the Charlotte Touchdown Club in Charlotte, N.C.

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Alabama’s Allen wins 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy

2016 bronko sponsor logosCHARLOTTE, N.C. — Finally, the Alabama Crimson Tide landed a winner in the Bronko Nagurski Trophy balloting: defensive end Jonathan Allen.

The nation’s top-ranked team, attempting to win a second straight national title and fifth in eight years, saw Allen claim the trophy as the best defensive player in college football, as chosen by the Football Writers Association of America.

Alabama has had a Nagurski finalist seven times in the last eight years; in fact, the Crimson Tide had two of the five 2016 Nagurski finalists. The previous six times, a Crimson Tide player didn’t get the nod in Charlotte. But Allen, a 6-3, 291-pound senior from Leesburg, Va., broke that streak after returning for his senior season to improve his draft status.

“I’m honestly speechless right now. I never in a million years thought I would even be up for this award, yet win it,” Allen said. “I’ve got to thank all the guys back at Alabama, God, my parents, my girlfriend, everyone who’s had a part in shaping me and making me who I am. This is just a tremendous award.”

“Few would debate that Alabama has the nation’s best defensive line, and Jonathan Allen is a major reason why Crimson Tide opponents have such a difficult time moving the ball,” said FWAA President Mark Anderson of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “He is the winner of the 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, and had to beat out one of his teammates, Reuben Foster, for it.”

Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen, winner of the 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, poses with 2016 FWAA President Mark Anderson.

Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen, winner of the 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, poses with 2016 FWAA President Mark Anderson.

The finalists on hand for the banquet hosted by the Charlotte Touchdown Club were: Allen, Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, Florida State cornerback Tarvarus McFadden, Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers and Clemson end Christian Wilkins.

Projected as a high first-round pick in next spring’s NFL Draft, Allen has been nicknamed “Superman” for some of his plays. Allen is a standout on the nation’s best defense, which, until the SEC Championship Game, hadn’t given up a touchdown since Oct. 22 against Texas A&M.

“Jonathan Allen is a fantastic player for us, even a better person and leader,” said Alabama head coach Nick Saban. “He’s had an outstanding year. I think he’s sort of someone that a lot of players should look at who came here weighing probably 250 pounds. We kind of recruited him as an outside linebacker. The guy has developed each and every year into being a better and better and better player. I think sometimes a lot of players lose sight of how football is a developmental game, how they improve, how they can improve their value by continuing to grow and develop as players in college. Jonathan Allen is a great example of that.”

Allen is second on the Crimson Tide’s career sack list with 26.5 and has nine sacks for 72 yards in losses this season. He has 15 quarterback hurries, has broken up two passes, and blocked a kick. He has scored touchdowns on two fumble recoveries – a 75-yard return against Ole Miss and a 30-yard return against Texas A&M.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner was chosen from the five finalists who are part of the 2016 FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s entire membership, selected the Nagurski Trophy finalists and winner.

In addition to the 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner’s announcement at the Charlotte Convention Center, the banquet celebrated the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by the CTC and Florida East Coast Railway. Navy’s Chet Moeller, a member of the FWAA’s 1975 All-America Team and a College Football Hall of Famer, was honored. Duke head coach David Cutcliffe was the keynote speaker at the banquet.

The FWAA has chosen 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.

The Football Writers Association of America, founded in 1941, 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 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 ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.

ABOUT THE CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB AND ITS SPONSORS

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 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.

ACN, Inc. Founded in 1993, ACN is the world’s largest direct seller of telecommunications and essential services for residential and business customers. ACN provides the services people need and use every day including Home Phone Service, High Speed Internet, Wireless, Television, Home Security & Automation, Computer Support and Natural Gas and Electricity. ACN operates in 23 countries with offices located throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information, visit myacn.com. For information on ACN’s home-based business opportunity, visit acninc.com.

Florida East Coast Railway FECR is a regional freight railroad that extends along a 351-mile corridor between Jacksonville, Fla., and Miami, Fla., with exclusive rail access to the Port of Palm Beach, Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale) and the Port of Miami. For more information, visit fecrwy.com.

Electrolux Electrolux is a global leader in appliances for household and professional use, selling more than 50 million products to customers in more than 150 countries every year. The company focuses on innovations that are thoughtfully designed, based on extensive consumer insight, to meet the real needs of consumers and professionals. Electrolux products include refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, cookers and air-conditioners sold under esteemed brands such as Electrolux, Frigidaire, Kelvinator, AEG, and Eureka. In 2012, Electrolux had sales of $17 billion ($5.1 billion in North America) and 58,000 employees. The Electrolux North American headquarters is located at 10200 David Taylor Drive, Charlotte, NC 28262 in the University Research Park. For more information visit http://newsroom.electrolux.com/us/.

Five finalists for Bronko Nagurski Trophy named

2016 bronko sponsor logosDALLAS — Five Finalists have been chosen for the 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is awarded annually to the best defensive player in college football by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

The finalists, in alphabetical order, are: Alabama end Jonathan Allen, Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, Florida State cornerback Tarvarus McFadden, Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers and Clemson end Christian Wilkins.

Top-ranked and unbeaten Alabama has a Bronko Nagurski finalist for the sixth straight year and for the seventh time in eight years. Clemson has a finalist for the second straight year. Florida State’s last finalist was in 2013 and Michigan’s in 2006.

Clemson has had one previous winner, Da’Quan Bowers in 2010. And Michigan’s Charles Woodson was the 1997 winner during the same season in which he collected the Heisman Trophy. Both Alabama and Florida State will be seeking a winner for the first time this year.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from these five finalists, who are part of the 2016 FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s entire membership, selected the Nagurski Trophy finalists and will choose the winner.

Jonathan Allen, Alabama

Jonathan Allen

Allen, a 6-foot-3, 291-pound senior, and Foster, a 6-foot-1, 228-pound senior, are two of the standouts on Alabama’s defense, which is one of the best in the country. The Crimson Tide ranks No. 1 in the FBS in rushing defense (68.8 yards allowed per game), and No. 2 in both scoring defense (12.2 points per game allowed) and in total defense (259.5 yards allowed per game).

Allen, who is tied for second place on the Crimson Tide’s career sack list with 25, has 7 ½ sacks for 55 yards in losses this season. He has 13 quarterback hurries, has broken up two passes, and blocked a kick. He has scored touchdowns on two fumble recoveries_ a 75-yard return against Mississippi and a 30-yard return against Texas A&M.

Reuben Foster, Alabama

Reuben Foster

Foster is Alabama’s leading tackler with 70 tackles (35 unassisted). Along with Alllen, he also has started all 10 games this season. Foster has seven tackles for 29 yards in losses, two of which are sacks. He has two passes broken up and four quarterback hurries.

Tavarus McFadden, Florida State

Tavarus McFadden

McFadden, a 6-foot-2, 198-pound sophomore cornerback, leads the country with seven interceptions. He is the first Seminole with seven interceptions since 1997 and is already tied for the fourth highest interception total by an FSU player in a single season. He also chips in 14 tackles (11 unassisted), three tackles for 12 yards in losses and four passes broken up for the Seminoles (7-3).

Michigan’s Peppers, a 6-foot-1, 208-pound junior linebacker who plays some defensive back, has played 13 different positions during the 2016 season.

Jabrill Peppers, Michigan

Jabrill Peppers, Michigan

But he is the star of the defense that ranks No. 1 in the country in scoring defense (allowing 11.0 ppg), in total defense (allowing 244.7 yards a game) and in passing defense (allowing 131.6 yards a game). Peppers is the season’s second-leading tackler on the team with 59 (14 of which have been for 63 yards in losses). He has a forced fumble and eight quarterback hurries for the once-beaten Wolverines.

Christian Wilkins, Clemson

Christian Wilkins

Wilkins, a 6-foot-4, 310-pound sophomore end, is one of the defensive stalwarts for the Tigers, who have lost only to Pittsburgh. He plays more end than tackle. Over the course of the season he has made 45 tackles (33 unassisted). He has a team-leading 11 tackles for 47 yards in losses, 3.5 of which are sacks. He has also recovered a fumble and blocked a kick for Clemson, which ranks 12th in FBS in scoring defense (18.4 points allowed a game.)

The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Mon., Dec. 5 at the Charlotte Convention Center.

In addition to the 2016 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. Navy’s Chet Moeller, a member of the FWAA’s 1975 All-America Team and a College Football Hall of Famer, will be honored. Duke head coach David Cutcliffe will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.

The FWAA has chosen 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.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story

Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list announced

88 players get consideration for defensive player of the year

Desmond King of Iowa, Shawun Lurry of Northern Illinois and Myles Garrett of Texas A&M headline the 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List that includes 88 defensive standouts from all 10 Division I FBS conferences. King, Lurry and Garrett are the returning first-team Football Writers Association of America All-Americans.

The watch list also includes a pair of returning second-team FWAA All-Americans, Eddie Jackson from Alabama and Jourdan Lewis from Michigan.

The Southeastern Conference led all conferences with 27 players, followed by the Big Ten (13), Pac-12 (13), ACC (11), Big 12 (10), Mid-American (4), Mountain West (3), American Athletic (2), Conference USA (2), Sun Belt (1) and Independents (2). Alabama and LSU each had five players on the list, which included 31 backs, 29 linebackers, 21 ends and seven tackles.

Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. Once again, the FWAA will announce a National Defensive Player of the Week 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 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Thurs., Nov. 17.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2016 FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s entire membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski Trophy finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner, the best defensive player in college football.

The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Mon., Dec. 5 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte. In addition to the 2016 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. Navy’s Chet Moeller, a member of the FWAA’s 1975 All-America Team and a College Football Hall of Famer, will be honored. Duke head coach David Cutcliffe will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.

 2016 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST (88)

Montravius Adams, Auburn, DT
Jamal Adams, LSU, DB
Jonathan Allen, Alabama, DE
Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado, DB
Budda Baker, Washington, DB
Dante Barnett, Kansas State, DB
Derek Barnett, Tennessee, DE
Kendell Beckwith, LSU, LB
Vince Biegel, Wisconsin, LB
Quin Blanding, Virginia, DB
Ben Boulware, Clemson, LB
Richie Brown, Mississippi State, LB
Riley Bullough, Michigan State, LB
Josh Carraway, TCU, DE
Lorenzo Carter, Georgia, LB
Tony Conner, Ole Miss, DB
Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt, LB
Jarrad Davis, Florida, LB
Hunter Dimick, Utah, DE
Ken Ekanem, Virginia Tech, DE
Devonte Fields, Louisville, DE
Salamo Fiso, Arizona State, LB
Kylie Fitts, Utah, DE
Reuben Foster, Alabama, LB
Myles Garrett, Texas A&M, DE
Davon Godchaux, LSU, DT
Daeshon Hall, Texas A&M, DE
Charles Harris, Missouri, DE
Josh Harvey-Clemons, Louisville, DB
Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss, DE
Treyvon Hester, Toledo, DT
Travin Howard, TCU, LB
Shane Huber, Massachusetts, LB
Marlon Humphrey, Alabama, DB
Adoreé Jackson, USC, DB
Eddie Jackson, Alabama
Derwin James, Florida State, DB
Malik Jefferson, Texas, LB
Josey Jewell, Iowa, LB
Sidney Jones, Washington, DB
Andrew King, Army, LB
Desmond King, Iowa, DB
Micah Kiser, Virginia, LB
Carl Lawson, Auburn, DE
Elijah Lee, Kansas State, LB
Jourdan Lewis, Michigan, DB
Tyquan Lewis, Ohio State, DE
William Likely, Maryland, DB
Lowell Lotulelei, Utah, DT
Shawun Lurry, Northern Illinois, DB
Jamal Marcus, Akron, DE
Marcus Maye, Florida, DB
Malik McDowell, Michigan State, DT
Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State
Fabian Moreau, UCLA, DB
Calvin Munson, San Diego State, LB
Lewis Neal, LSU, DE
Hardy Nickerson, Illinois, LB
Steven Parker, Oklahoma, DB
Jabrill Peppers, Michigan, LB
Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Tennessee, LB
TJ Ricks, Old Dominion, LB
Isaac Rochell, Notre Dame, DE
Ja’Von Rolland-Jones, Arkansas State, DE
Duke Shelley, Kansas State, DB
Cameron Smith, USC, LB
Weston Steelhammer, Air Force, DB
Jordan Sterns, Oklahoma State, DB
Jamar Summers, UConn, DB
Cameron Sutton, Tennessee, DB
Jalen Tabor, Florida, DB
Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson, DB
Steven Taylor, Houston, LB
Ahmad Thomas, Oklahoma, DB
Tanner Vallejo, Boise State, LB
Eddie Vanderdoes, UCLA, DT
Azeem Victor, Washington, LB
Anthony Walker Jr., Northwestern, LB
Charles Walker, Oklahoma, DE
DeMarcus Walker, Florida State, DE
Carlos Watkins, Clemson, DT
Tre’Davious White, LSU, DB
Jordan Whitehead, Pittsburgh, DB
Marcus Williams, Utah, DB
Tim Williams, Alabama, LB
Deatrich Wise Jr., Arkansas, DE
Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech, DB
Chris Wormley, Michigan, DE

By conference: SEC 27, Big Ten 13, Pac-12 13, ACC 11, Big 12 10, Mid-American 4, Mountain West 3, American Athletic 2, Conference USA 2, Independents 2, Sun Belt 1.
By position: Tackles 7, Ends 21, Linebackers 29, Backs 31.

The FWAA has chosen 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.

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 over 722 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.

The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 12-day period this month. Seventeen 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 2016 preseason watch list calendar:

Tues., July 5: Bednarik Award / Maxwell Award
Wed., July 6: Mackey Award / Rimington Trophy
Thurs., July 7: Lou Groza Award / Ray Guy Award
Fri., July 8: Bronko Nagurski Trophy / Outland Trophy
Mon., July 11: Jim Thorpe Award
Tues., July 12: Butkus Award / Rotary Lombardi Award
Wed., July 13: Biletnikoff Award / Wuerffel Trophy
Thurs., July 14: Davey O’Brien Award / Doak Walker Award
Fri., July 15: Walter Camp Award / Paul Hornung Award

The Football Writers Association of America, founded in 1941, 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.

ABOUT THE CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB AND ITS SPONSORS

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 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.

ACN, Inc.
Founded in 1993, ACN is the world’s largest direct seller of telecommunications, energy and essential services for residential and business customers. ACN provides the services people need and use every day including home phone service, high-speed internet, wireless, television, home security and automation, computer support and natural gas and electricity. ACN operates in 24 countries with offices located throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific. For more information, visit myacn.com. For information on ACN’s home-based business opportunity, visit acninc.com.

Florida East Coast Railway
FECR is a regional freight railroad that extends along a 351-mile corridor between Jacksonville, Fla., and Miami, Fla., with exclusive rail access to the Port of Palm Beach, Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale) and the Port of Miami. For more information, visit fecrwy.com.

Electrolux
Electrolux is a global leader in appliances for household and professional use, selling more than 50 million products to customers in more than 150 countries every year. The company focuses on innovations that are thoughtfully designed, based on extensive consumer insight, to meet the real needs of consumers and professionals. Electrolux products include refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, cookers and air-conditioners sold under esteemed brands such as Electrolux, Frigidaire, Kelvinator, AEG, and Eureka. In 2012, Electrolux had sales of $17 billion ($5.1 billion in North America) and 58,000 employees. The Electrolux North American headquarters is located at 10200 David Taylor Drive, Charlotte, NC 28262 in the University Research Park. For more information visit http://newsroom.electrolux.com/us/.

Photo gallery: Bronko Nagurski Trophy presentation

These pictures, from the Dec. 7 banquet for the presentation of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy to Temple senior linebacker Tyler Matakevich, were provided by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and Treasured Events of Charlotte.  Matakevich is the 23rd winner of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which goes annually to FWAA’s selection as the best defensive player in college football.

Temple’s Matakevich wins 2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy

broko logosCHARLOTTE, N.C. — Temple senior linebacker Tyler Matakevich was named the 2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner on Monday night, a feat paralleling his team’s rise to its first Top 25 ranking since 1980 and record-tying 10-victory season in which the Owls won the American Athletic Conference’s East Division crown.

The Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club made the announcement at a gala banquet presented by ACN at the Westin Hotel in downtown Charlotte, N.C. Matakevich, the school’s all-time tackle leader, is the first major award winner for Temple (10-3), which is headed to the Marmot Boca Raton Bowl to play Toledo on Dec. 22. 

This year’s banquet marks the 21st anniversary of the event in Charlotte, where Matakevich beat out the other finalists: Duke safety Jeremy Cash, Clemson end Shaq Lawson, Penn State end Carl Nassib and Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland.

The 6-1, 232-pound Matakevich, the first, first-team defensive All-American in Temple history, now has collected the title as the best defensive player in college football. Adding to the story, Temple was the only Football Bowl Subdivision school to recruit him out of Stratford, Conn.

“They (most recruiters) told me I was too small, too slow and I could not play at this level,” Matakevich said. “It was everybody.”

But current Temple head coach Matt Rhule, who was an assistant on the staff at the time, looked at him differently. More…

Finalists for Bronko Nagurski Trophy announced

ffaw_redesignDALLAS — Five finalists for the 2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy were announced on Thursday by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

Vying for the honor of National Defensive Player of the Year are, in alphabetical order: Duke safety Jeremy Cash, Clemson end Shaq Lawson, Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich, Penn State end Carl Nassib and Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland.

The winner will be announced Dec. 7 and presented the Bronko Nagurski Trophy at a gala banquet sponsored by ACN at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn will give the keynote address. This year’s banquet marks the 21st anniversary of the event being held in Charlotte.

broko logosIn addition, the FWAA and Charlotte Touchdown Club will hand out the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award presented by Florida East Coast Railway. This year’s recipient is Ohio State linebacker Randy Gradishar, a member of the 1973 FWAA All-America team and a College Football Hall of Famer and former All-Pro for the Denver Broncos.

The award is named after the legendary Bronko Nagurski, who dominated college football at the University of Minnesota as a bruising fullback and defensive tackle from 1927-29. He could have been an All-American at any position and was the best player wherever the coaches put him.

Nagurski led Minnesota to the Big Ten title in 1927 and a three-year record of 18-4-2. He went on to lead the fabled Chicago Bears to three NFL titles. During one game at Wrigley Field, he once broke a defensive player’s shoulder, knocked another out and ran into a brick wall and actually cracked it after a game-winning touchdown run.

The FWAA has named a National Defensive Player of the Year since the 1993 season. Of the five schools represented among the finalists, only Clemson has had a previous winner, Da’Quan Bowers in 2010. While Alabama and Penn State have had finalists for the award before, these are first-time Bronko Nagurski finalists for both Duke and Temple. Alabama has a finalist for a fifth straight year.

A look at the five 2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalists, as selected by the FWAA All-America Committee:

Jeremy Cash, S, Duke (6-2, 210, Sr., Miami, Fla.): A second-team FWAA All-America selection last season, Cash has come back strong in 2015 and is tied for third in the Atlantic Coast Conference in tackles per game at 8.8. He also is the only defensive back in the Top 100 in FBS in tackles for loss per game and is second in the country behind Penn State end Carl Nassib with 17.5 (79 yards in losses). In addition, Cash has broken up three passes, recovered one fumble, registered eight quarterback hurries and forced three fumbles. His coach David Cutcliffe says: “I don’t know if  there is a better defensive player from a production standpoint in the country.”

Shaq Lawson, E, Clemson (6-3, 270, Jr., Central, S.C.): The big-play tackler for the nation’s top-ranked team in the CFP poll, Lawson is one of the strongest players in college football and is a standout against the run. He has 16.5 tackles for loss, which is among the Top 10 in the country. He has also broken up a pass and made 12 quarterback hurries. In the victory over Notre Dame he had 3.5 tackles for loss when he was matched up against Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, a clear victory for Lawson.

Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple (6-1, 232, Sr., Stratford, Conn.): The current career leader in tackles in the FBS is on target to record more than 100 total tackles in each of his four seasons at Temple. He is the first first-team defensive All-American in school history and is the only player in the FBS to lead his team (8-2 overall) in tackles every game this season. He leads all FBS linebackers with five interceptions (47 return yards) and he has 11.5 tackles for 56 yards in losses, including four sacks for 25 yards in losses.

Carl Nassib, E, Penn State (6-7, 272, Sr., West Chester, Pa.): A former preferred walk-on at Penn State, Nassib has added weight and strength to become one of college football’s best defenders. His coach James Franklin describes him as “big, long, explosive, athletic.” Nassib leads the FBS in sacks (15.5), tackles for loss (19.5) and forced fumbles (6). He has recorded at least one sack in each game this season and has five multi-sack games in 2015. He is one forced fumble away from tying the school record.

Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama (6-2, 252, Sr., Madison, Ala.): Very active off the field in community service, Ragland, a team captain, has a team-leading 82 tackles. He has 5.5 tackles for 20 yards in losses, five pass breakups, three quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles. He has led the team in tackles in six of the Crimson Tide’s 10 games. Alabama’s defense, after giving up 43 points in a loss to Ole Miss, has been stellar as opponents have averaged just 11.8 points a game in the last seven contests, all Alabama victories.

More…

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.

2015 NAGURSKI WATCHLIST

TACKLES

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

ENDS

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

LINEBACKERS

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

BACKS

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

Five finalists named for 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy

DALLAS – Five finalists for the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy were announced on Thursday by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

Vying for the honor of National Defensive Player of the Year are, in alphabetical order: Texas tackle Malcom Brown, Alabama safety Landon Collins, Ole Miss cornerback Senquez Golson, Louisville safety Gerod Holliman and Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright.

The winner will be announced on Dec. 8 and presented the Bronko Nagurski Trophy at a gala banquet sponsored by ACN at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. Alabama coach Nick Saban will give the keynote address. This year’s banquet marks the 20th anniversary of the event being held in Charlotte.

In addition, the FWAA and Charlotte Touchdown Club will hand out the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award presented by Florida East Coast Railway. This year’s winner is Maryland’s College Football Hall of Famer Randy White, a member of the FWAA’s 1974 FWAA All-America team and later an All-Pro for the Dallas Cowboys.

“We have an outstanding group of finalists for the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy and selecting a winner is a very difficult process given the impressive defensive performances of this group,” said Kirk Bohls, 2014 FWAA President from the Austin American-Statesman. “I look forward to being in Charlotte on the evening of Dec. 8 to reveal the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy to a truly deserving individual during this, the 20th anniversary of the banquet.”

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