92 players get consideration for defensive player of the year
DALLAS – The Football Writers Association of America released its 2019 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List today, selecting 92 defensive standouts from 65 schools in all 10 Division I FBS conferences plus independents on a roster that includes four returning players from last season’s FWAA All-America team.
Grant Delpit, a junior safety from LSU, tops the list as the lone returning Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalist and FWAA first-team All-American from last season. Joining him on the list are three other returning 2018 FWAA second-team All-Americans in Virginia cornerback Bryce Hall, Michigan State defensive end Kenny Willekes, and Stanford cornerback Paulson Adebo.
Alabama leads the team count with four representatives – linebackers Anfernee Jennings and Dylan Moses, end Raekwon Davis and cornerback Trevon Diggs. In addition to Delpit, LSU boasts linebacker Jacob Phillips and cornerback Kristian Fulton on the list to tie Iowa State, Notre Dame and Penn State with three members each. There are 16 schools with two members on the list.
Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. As in previous years, the FWAA will announce a National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday this season. If not already on the watch list, each week’s honored player will be added at that time. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2019 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 20.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s full membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski Trophy finalists. Committee members, by individual ballot, select the winner they regard as the best defensive player in college football.
This year’s watch list includes at least four players from eight of the 10 FBS conferences. The SEC (18) and Big Ten (15) have the most members and combine to make up more than one-third of the 92-man list. The ACC and Pac-12 (12 each) and Big 12 (11) also have double-digit representation, followed by the American Athletic (6), Independents (5), Conference USA (4), Mountain West (4), Mid-American (3) and Sun Belt (2). The list includes 36 linebackers, 28 backs, 21 ends and seven tackles.
|2019 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST (92)|
|DB DeMarkus Acy, Missouri||DE Mustafa Johnson, Colorado|
|DB Paulson Adebo, Stanford||DE Patrick Johnson, Tulane|
|DE Bradlee Anae, Utah||LB Clay Johnston, Baylor|
|LB Rayshard Ashby, Virginia Tech||DB Brandon Jones, Texas|
|LB Joe Bachie, Michigan State||LB Antonio Jones-Davis, NIU|
|DE JaQuan Bailey, Iowa State||DE Khalid Kareem, Notre Dame|
|LB Markus Bailey, Purdue||LB Nate Landman, Colorado|
|DB Essang Bassey, Wake Forest||LB Sage Lewis, FIU|
|LB Shaun Bradley, Temple||DT Ray Lima, Iowa State|
|DB Antoine Brooks Jr., Maryland||LB Bryan London II, Texas State|
|LB Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech||LB Jordan Mack, Virginia|
|DT Derrick Brown, Auburn||DT Justin Madubuke, Texas A&M|
|DB Myles Bryant, Washington||DB Kevin McGill, Eastern Michigan|
|DB Andre Cisco, Syracuse||DB Josh Metellus, Michigan|
|DE Nick Coe, Auburn||LB Dylan Moses, Alabama|
|LB Carter Coughlin, Minnesota||LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma|
|DB Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State||DE Julian Okwara, Notre Dame|
|DE Raekwon Davis, Alabama||LB Micah Parsons, Penn State|
|DB Grant Delpit, LSU||LB Jacob Phillips, LSU|
|DB Trevon Diggs, Alabama||LB Shaquille Quarterman, Miami|
|DE Victor Dimukeje, Duke||DB J.R. Reed, Georgia|
|LB Troy Dye, Oregon||DB Elijah Riley, Army|
|LB Cooper Edmiston, Tulsa||DB Amik Robertson, Louisiana Tech|
|DE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa||LB Merlin Robertson, Arizona State|
|LB Jordan Fehr, Appalachian State||DE Alton Robinson, Syracuse|
|LB Paddy Fisher, Northwestern||LB Colin Schooler, Arizona|
|DB Jordan Fuller, Ohio State||DT Jordon Scott, Oregon|
|DB Kristian Fulton, LSU||LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson|
|LB Lawrence Garner, Old Dominion||LB Marcel Spears, Iowa State|
|LB Cale Garrett, Missouri||DB Caden Sterns, Texas|
|DE Jonathan Garvin, Miami||LB Darrell Taylor, Tennessee|
|DE Joe Gaziano, Northwestern||LB Kyahva Tezino, San Diego State|
|DB Alohi Gilman, Notre Dame||DE Xavier Thomas, Clemson|
|DB Jeff Gladney, TCU||LB Erroll Thompson, Mississippi State|
|DB Richie Grant, UCF||DT Khyiris Tonga, BYU|
|DB A.J. Green, Oklahoma State||DE Jay Tufele, USC|
|DE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State||LB Mykal Walker, Fresno State|
|DB Javon Hagan, Ohio||DE Curtis Weaver, Boise State|
|DB Bryce Hall, Virginia||LB Evan Weaver, California|
|LB Ky’el Hemby, Southern Miss||DB James Wiggins, Cincinnati|
|DB CJ Henderson, Florida||DE Kenny Willekes, Michigan State|
|DB Lavert Hill, Michigan||DT Marvin Wilson, Florida State|
|DE Wyatt Hubert, Kansas State||DT Robert Windsor, Penn State|
|LB Bryce Huff, Memphis||LB David Woodward, Utah State|
|LB Anfernee Jennings, Alabama||DE Chase Young, Ohio State|
|DB Jaylon Johnson, Utah||DE Jabari Zuniga, Florida|
By conference: SEC 18, Big Ten 15, ACC 12, Pac-12 12, Big 12 11, American Athletic 6, Independents 5, Conference USA 4, Mountain West 4, Mid-American 3, Sun Belt 2.
By position: Linebackers 36, Backs 28, Ends 21, Tackles 7.
Players may be added or removed from the list before or during the season
The 25th Annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet will be held on Dec. 9 at the Charlotte Convention Center. In addition to the 2019 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner’s announcement, the banquet will also celebrate former UCLA All-American Jerry Robinson, the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day is the keynote speaker.
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. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about the NCFAA.
About the Football Writers Association of America
Founded in 1941, the non-profit Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) consists of more than 1,300 members, including journalists, broadcasters, publicists and key executives in all areas of college football. Led by current President Matt Fortuna of The Athletic, longtime Executive Director Steve Richardson, and a board of veteran journalists, the association continues to grow and work to help college football prosper at all levels. Visit footballwriters.com for more information about the FWAA and its award programs.
About the Charlotte Touchdown Club
The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization 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. Since 1991, the club has raised more than $2 million to benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or firstname.lastname@example.org). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.com.
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