Alabama’s Williams is Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week

Sophomore nose guard leads charge in shutout of LSU

DALLAS — Alabama nose guard Quinnen Williams set the pace for an overwhelming performance by the Crimson Tide defense in a 29-0 blanking of LSU. Williams posted career-highs with 10 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss along with 2.5 sacks as Alabama held the Tigers to 196 yards of total offense. For his play in the middle of the ‘Bama defense, Williams has earned the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Nov. 3, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.

Williams, a 6-4, 295-pound sophomore from Birmingham, Ala., was a solo force plugging the middle of Alabama’s defensive front. The top-ranked Crimson Tide (9-0) held No. 3 LSU to just 12 rushing yards, and Williams’ 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks combined to account for 37 yards lost for the Tigers. Seven of Williams’ 10 stops were solo tackles. LSU had been averaging 383.6 yards and 30.4 points per game coming into the game.

Williams leads the Crimson Tide’s defensive line in tackles with 43 this season along with a team-high 12 tackles for loss (with minus-49 yards lost) and 4.0 sacks (for minus-26 yards). He is second on the team in quarterback hurries with nine and has one pass broken up.

The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s entire membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalists. The committee members then select the winner as the best defensive player in college football.

The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Mon., Dec. 3 at the Charlotte Convention Center. In addition to the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner’s announcement, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by the Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery.

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.

About the Football Writers Association of America:
Founded in 1941, the FWAA 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 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 $2,000,000 to benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. 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 phone service, high-speed internet, wireless, television, security and automation, computer support, payment processing and natural gas and electricity. ACN operates in 25 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.

About Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery
Dr. Richard R. Rolle Jr. is a leading oral & maxillofacial surgeon, with strong ties to athletics and delivering excellence http://www.rolleoralfacialsurgery.com. Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery offers expertise in: dental implants, wisdom tooth extraction, youth-capturing, cosmetic injectables, oral surgery and cleft lip reconstruction in his Lake Norman, North Carolina practice. Dr. Rolle holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame where he played varsity football under legendary Coach Lou Holtz. He completed his oral surgery internship at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital and holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery from Meharry Medical College. Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery is the official surgeon for the Charlotte Hornets, Charlotte Checkers and Charlotte 49ers.

2018 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
• Weekend of Sept. 1: Tyler Horton, Boise State
• Weekend of Sept. 8: Nate Landman, Colorado
• Weekend of Sept. 15: Alvin Davis Jr., Akron
• Weekend of Sept. 22: Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington
• Weekend of Sept. 29: Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
• Weekend of Oct. 6: Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
• Weekend of Oct. 13: Keisean Lucier-South, UCLA
• Weekend of Oct. 20: Austin Robinson, Houston
• Weekend of Oct. 27: Reed Blankenship, Middle Tennessee
• Weekend of Nov. 3: Quinnen Williams, Alabama

Related link:
Bronko Nagurski Trophy (All-Time Winners, Finalists and Players of the Week)

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In the Trenches: Outland Trophy Matchups Week 10

Key battles in the Big Ten and Big 12 races headline In The Trenches, our weekly look at matchups featuring Outland Trophy candidates. Michigan plays host to Penn State and tries to keep its upper hand in the East Division race and Texas travels to Morgantown to face high-flying West Virginia in what may be an elimination game in the battle for the conference’s regular-season title.

http://www.sportswriters.net/fwaa/awards/outland/inthetrenches181103.pdf

While you’re at it, we ask that you follow all of the FWAA’s endeavors online:
@TheFWAA
@OutlandTrophy

We have partnered with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and their #FightFlu campaign this season, so we ask that you join spokesman Joe Thomas, a 2006 FWAA All-American and the Outland Trophy winner, in supporting the cause.

Steve Richardson
Executive Director

 

Armed Forces Merit Award 2018 finalists revealed

FORT WORTH, Texas — Five individuals and one program have been named as finalists for the 2018 Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).

This year’s recipient will be announced prior to Veteran’s Day on Thursday (November 8). The announcement of the 2018 recipient will be made jointly by Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Executive Director Brant Ringler and FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson on an 11 a.m. (CT) teleconference.

Armed Forces Merit Award

Three of the five individual being for the 2018 Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA were also finalists in 2017 when Kansas State and its football team was announced last November as the sixth recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award for the university’s partnership with the United States Army that created a bond between the school’s athletic department and the Iron Rangers at Fort Riley.

U.S. Air Force Academy Coach Troy Calhoun, Robert Morris University president Dr. Chris Howard and Texas Tech University strength and conditioning coach Rusty Whitt lead the list of five individuals name as 2018 finalists after advancing to the final round of voting in 2017. Both Calhoun and Dr. Howard are Air Force veterans and Whitt served in the U.S.  Army

Other individuals named as finalists are defensive back and Air Force veterans Darren Palmer of UNLV and wide receiver and National Guard reservists Casey Stewart of Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va. The lone program advancing to the finals is Athletes Of Valor, an organization that works with active duty military and veterans to help them get recruited to college and play sports.

The Armed Forces Merit Award’s selection committee is made up of five FWAA members and two representatives from the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. A total of 56 “candidates” were nominated for the 2018 award that was created in June 2012 “to honor an individual and/or a group with a military background and/or involvement that has an impact within the realm of college football.”

Nate Boyer of the University of Texas, Austin was the initial recipient in 2012. Other recipients were Brandon McCoy of the University of North Texas in 2013, Daniel Rodriguez from Clemson University in 2014, Bret Robertson of Westminster College (Fulton, Mo.) in 2015 and Steven Rhodes from Middle Tennessee State University.

Athletes Of Valor – Unlike college-athlete recruiting services, Athletes of Valor uniquely serves servicemen and women throughout the different stages and challenges of their transition. First, by connecting qualified, competitive servicemen and women with collegiate coaches, and then by facilitating internship and job opportunities with corporate partners. Athletes of Valor’s only-of-its-kind model provides veterans an avenue to showcase their skills and character traits while also giving collegiate coaches the space they need to access experienced veteran athletes. Over one million servicemen and women will transition over the next four years, and statistics show that only about fifty percent will end up earning a degree. With around 85% of student-athletes graduating, the numbers tell a story. With Athletes of Valor, veterans have a unique opportunity to compete on a collegiate team, contribute their experience and maturity, and be a part of something bigger than themselves. Bridging the communication gap between service members and collegiate coaches is at the core of Athletes of Valor’s overall mission to help veteran’s transition successfully.

 

Troy Calhoun

Troy Calhoun, Head Coach, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force) – A 1989 graduate from the Academy and a member of the superintendent’s list by earning over a 3.0 grade point average along with a military performance average of better than 3.0, Calhoun and his wife, Amanda, have a strong respect and affinity for the members of our armed services and are very involved with numerous charitable and community endeavors. After serving from 1989-1995 as an active duty officer in the Air Force, Calhoun coached at Ohio, Wake Forest, the Denver Broncos and the Houston Texans before becoming the Falcon head coach in 2007. In 11-plus seasons at Air Force, Calhoun has led the Falcons to nine bowl games and an 85-64 record.

 

Dr. Chris Howard

Dr. Chris Howard, President, Robert Morris University (U. S. Air Force) – Dr. Howard is the eighth president of Robert Morris University in suburban Pittsburgh. He is a 1991 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, a Rhodes Scholar (earned a doctoral degree from the University of Oxford), and a graduate with an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School. Dr. Howard received the Campbell Trophy, the highest academic award in the nation presented to a senior college football player, and he was inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame. He is a recipient of the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, which recognizes distinguished individuals on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their collegiate athletic careers. Dr. Howard is a member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, the College Football 150th Anniversary Committee, and the NCAA Honors Committee. A retired Air Force reserve lieutenant colonel, Dr. Howard served as a helicopter pilot and then became an intelligence officer for the elite Joint Special Operations Command. He served on active duty in Afghanistan in 2003 and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service. Dr. Howard also served as the Reserve Air Attaché to Liberia. As RMU president, Dr. Howard has opened the Center for Veterans and Military Families. RMU recently announced that it is partnering with the SEAL Future Fund to help active-duty and retired Navy SEALs transition to civilian careers. RMU also offers its MBA program at a deep discount to service members stationed at any of four military bases located near its campus.

 

Darren Palmer

Darren Palmer, UNLV (U. S. Army) – A walk-on defensive back/receiver, Palmer got his first taste of college football last season after previously spending nearly a decade serving in the military. He joined the Rebels in 2017 through open tryouts during the offseason, which led to a roster spot during spring practice. Palmer Joined the U.S. Air Force out of high school in 2009 and rose to E-4 Senior Airman status during the four-year stint. He was also stationed first in Fairbanks, Alaska, before moving to a base in Hawai’i. He has also spent three years in the Air National Guard. A 2009 graduate of Lithia Springs High School in Georgia, Palmer is a human services major at UNLV. He was one of a school-record 26 Rebels named 2017 Academic All-Mountain West. A member of the Rebels special teams, Palmer has competed in seven games this season with seven total tackles.

 

Casey Stewart

Casey Stewart, Shenandoah University (National Guard) – In his third-season at the Winchester, Va., school, Stewart is the Hornets third-leading receiver (35 catches for 529 yards) and leads Shenandoah in scoring with 11 touchdown receptions for 66 points. After catching only one pass as a freshman, Stewart had 32 receptions for 478 yards and six touchdowns in 2017 for Shenandoah. He enlisted in the National Guard in January 2017 and completed his basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia. He missed most of Shenandoah’s spring practice while he spent the next 14 weeks in boot camp. Stewart made an appearance at SU toward the end of spring practice 2017 to show his coaches and teammates that he was still invested in the Hornets’ football program. He also was forced to miss the first week of Shenandoah’s preseason camp in August while at a two-week training exercise at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia. Stewart has a six-year contract with the National Guard with an additional two years of inactive reserve if he chooses not to re-up his contract. He wants to work for the federal government (FBI, CIA or DEA) upon his college graduation. If he doesn’t get accepted agencies, he’ll attend officer candidate school.

 

Rusty Whitt

Rusty Whitt, Strength & Conditioning, Texas Tech University (U. S. Army) – In his third season at Texas Tech, Whitt served in the United States Army as a Senior Special Forces Communication Sergeant in the 10th Special Forces Group. Whitt was a member of the U.S. Army from Aug. 2003-Jan. 2009 where during that time he deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) V and VI. Whitt developed and initiated a comprehensive pre-deployment conditioning program for his Special Forces Team prior to and during OIF V and VI. He received a combat infantry badge, two Iraqi campaign medals and an Army commendation medal with valor. Whitt spent six seasons as the head strength and conditioning coach for a Louisiana-Lafayette and a year-long stint as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Rice. Prior to joining the military, Whitt was the head strength and conditioning coach at Sam Houston State. Whitt began his strength and conditioning career with graduate assistantships at Midwestern State University, and the University of Texas. He performed an internship in the strength and conditioning department at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Whitt earned his bachelor’s degree in police science and administration from Abilene Christian University in 1994 and his master’s degree in kinesiology from Texas in 1997.

OU’s Brown nominated for Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award

Sophomore cornerback plays despite family loss

DALLAS   – Oklahoma’s Tre Brown is this week’s nominee for the 2018 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award. Brown, a sophomore cornerback, lost his mother Oct. 14 but has not missed a game for the Sooners.

Tre Brown

“It was just powerful,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said Oct. 22, two days after Brown starred in a win over TCU. “I still really don’t know how the kid did it; to come play at the level he did. He played extremely well. Credit to him, the inner strength he has, the support system around him; his family, friends, teammates here, family here. I think a lot of people lifted him up. And he lifted a lot of us up, too, even in a hard time for him. Having him back was special.”

Brown’s mother, Beverly Brewer, died on Oct. 14. Her funeral was three days later in Tulsa, Okla., where several of Brown’s Sooner teammates served as pallbearers.

Brown then made his first start of the season Oct. 20 in a 52-27 win over the Horned Frogs, tallying four tackles and two pass breakups, which earned him a game ball from Riley in the locker room. He started at corner again in this past Saturday’s 51-14 win over Kansas State, and he returned the game’s opening kickoff 27 yards.

Brown, a 5-foot-10, 182-pounder from Tulsa, leads the Sooners with six pass breakups this season. He has 25 total tackles and three tackles for loss.

The Courage Award was first presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) in 2002. A select group of writers from the FWAA vote on the winner each year. The requirements for nomination include displaying courage on or off the field, including overcoming an injury or physical handicap, preventing a disaster or living through hardship. The winner of the award will be included in festivities during Capital One Orange Bowl week and receive his trophy at an on-field presentation.

Previous winners of the Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award are Wisconsin safety D’Cota Dixon (2017) Pittsburgh running back James Conner (2016), Miami offensive lineman Hunter Knighton (2015), Duke offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson (2014), San Jose State defensive lineman Anthony Larceval (2013), Clemson wide receiver Daniel Rodriguez (2012), Michigan State offensive lineman Arthur Ray Jr. (2011), Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand (2010), the University of Connecticut football team (2009), Tulsa’s Wilson Holloway (2008), Navy’s Zerbin Singleton (2007), Clemson’s Ray Ray McElrathbey (2006), the Tulane football team (2005), Memphis’ Haracio Colen (2004), San Jose State’s Neil Parry (2003) and Toledo’s William Bratton (2002).

About the Orange Bowl

The Orange Bowl is a 360-member, primarily-volunteer non-profit sports organization that promotes and serves the South Florida community. With its primary mission since being created in 1935 to bring tourism to South Florida through an annual football game and events, it has also maintained a legacy of charitable contributions and community outreach. Orange Bowl community outreach efforts are comprised of four pillars: youth sports, fundraising and community events, academic programs and scholarships, and legacy gifts. The Orange Bowl features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 29, 2018. For more information on the 2018-19 Orange Bowl events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program presented by Panera Bread, log on to orangebowl.org. Follow Orange Bowl: @OrangeBowl, Facebook and Instagram.

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America 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.

2018 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
Sept. 12: John Schlarman, Kentucky | High-resolution headshot
Sept. 19: Nic Weishar, Notre Dame | High-resolution headshot
Sept. 26: Rex Culpepper, Syracuse | High-resolution headshot
Oct. 3: Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech | High-resolution headshot
Oct. 10: Antwan Dixon, Kent State | High-resolution headshot
Oct. 17: Marquez Stevenson, Houston | High-resolution headshot
Oct. 24: Janarius Robinson, Florida State | High-resolution headshot
Oct. 31: Tre Brown, Oklahoma | High-resolution headshot

Related link:
Capital One Orange Bowl Courage Award

MTSU’s Blankenship is Bronko Nagurski National Player of the Week

Sophomore safety has 17 tackles, 100-yard pick six

DALLAS Middle Tennessee safety Reed Blankenship made a career-high 17 tackles and had a sack and three tackles for loss in the Blue Raiders’ 51-17 win at Old Dominion. He also returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown just before halftime, and with his performance, Blankenship has earned the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games in the weekend of Oct. 27, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.

Blankenship had nine solo tackles among his 17 stops, but it was his interception that punctuated a career-best day for the sophomore from Athens, Ala. MTSU led 24-10 toward the end of the second quarter but with ODU threatening inside the Blue Raiders’ 10-yard line. On the final play of the half, Blankenship tipped an ODU pass into the end zone and was able to haul in the loose ball at the goal line. He broke to the right sideline, made two players miss on tackles and cut inside to run the last 70 yards untouched. Instead of perhaps only a 24-17 halftime lead, MTSU went into the locker room up 31-10.

The interception was the first for Blankenship this season and the third of his career. MTSU’s five takeaways led to 20 points, including another pick-six in the fourth quarter. The 100-yard return equaled the longest in MTSU history, the other coming in 1970.

Each Tuesday during the regular season, the FWAA has selected a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001. Blankenship will be added to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Wed., Nov. 14. The winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2018 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 Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalists. The committee members then select the winner as the best defensive player in college football.
The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Mon., Dec. 3 at the Charlotte Convention Center. In addition to the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner’s announcement, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by the Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery.

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.

About the Football Writers Association of America:

Founded in 1941, the FWAA 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 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 $2,000,000 to benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. 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 phone service, high-speed internet, wireless, television, security and automation, computer support, payment processing and natural gas and electricity. ACN operates in 25 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.

About Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery

Dr. Richard R. Rolle Jr. is a leading oral & maxillofacial surgeon, with strong ties to athletics and delivering excellence. Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery (www.rolleoralfacialsurgery.com) offers expertise in: dental implants, wisdom tooth extraction, youth-capturing, cosmetic injectables, oral surgery and cleft lip reconstruction in his Lake Norman, N.C., practice. Dr. Rolle holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame where he played varsity football under legendary Coach Lou Holtz. He completed his oral surgery internship at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital and holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery from Meharry Medical College. Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery is the official surgeon for the Charlotte Hornets, Charlotte Checkers and Charlotte 49ers.

2018 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week

• Weekend of Sept. 1: Tyler Horton, Boise State
• Weekend of Sept. 8: Nate Landman, Colorado
• Weekend of Sept. 15: Alvin Davis Jr., Akron
• Weekend of Sept. 22: Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington
• Weekend of Sept. 29: Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
• Weekend of Oct. 6: Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
• Weekend of Oct. 13: Keisean Lucier-South, UCLA
• Weekend of Oct. 20: Austin Robinson, Houston
• Weekend of Oct. 27: Reed Blankenship, Middle Tennessee

Related link:
Bronko Nagurski Trophy (All-Time Winners, Finalists and Players of the Week)

In the Trenches: Outland Trophy Matchups Week 9

One of college football’s great scenes and rivalries leads our weekly In The Trenches preview as Florida and Georgia do battle in Jacksonville to stay atop the East Division of the SEC. And, 2017 Outland winner Ed Oliver and the Houston defense face a stiff test when unbeaten South Florida comes to town.

http://www.sportswriters.net/fwaa/awards/outland/inthetrenches181027.pdf

While you’re at it, we ask that you follow all of the FWAA’s endeavors online:
@TheFWAA
@OutlandTrophy

We have partnered with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and their #FightFlu campaign this season, so we ask that you join spokesman Joe Thomas, a 2006 FWAA All-American and the Outland Trophy winner, in supporting the cause.

Steve Richardson
Executive Director

 

56 Armed Forces Merit Award nominations announced

FORT WORTH, Texas — A total of 22 collegiate players, one college president, 17 college coaches, 10 college and university administrators, two college referees and four program have been nominated for the 2018 Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).

Armed Forces Merit Award

Coordinated by the staff at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA was created in June 2012 “to honor an individual and/or a group with a military background and/or involvement that has an impact within the realm of college football.”

With 56 nominations to be considered, the award’s selection committee of five FWAA members and two representatives from the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl will determine the 2017 recipient that will be announced the week of November 4 by Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Executive Director Brant Ringler and FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson.

Kansas State and its football team was announced last November as sixth recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award for the university’s partnership with the United States Army that created a bond between the school’s athletic department and the Iron Rangers at Fort Riley.

Nate Boyer of the University of Texas, Austin was the initial recipient in 2012. Other recipients were Brandon McCoy of the University of North Texas in 2013, Daniel Rodriguez from Clemson University in 2014, Bret Robertson of Westminster College (Fulton, Mo.) in 2015 and Steven Rhodes from Middle Tennessee State University.

Boyer (long snapper), McCoy (defensive lineman), Rodriquez (wide receiver) and Robertson (defensive back) served in the Army before playing collegiate football. After his military service with the Marine Corp, Rhodes played four seasons at Middle Tennessee including an appearance in the 2013 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl with the Blue Raiders.

Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA

2018 Nominations 

Programs

Active College Football Players

Athletes Of Valor Players – ESPN Article

  • Cornelius Andrews, Union College, WR, 5-7, 169, Soph., Stockbridge, GA.
  • Dromynique Chestnut, Azusa Pacific, DB, 5-9, 180, Jun., Twentynine Palms, Calif.
  • Isom Coley, Union College, DB, 5-11, 191, Frosh, Troy, Ala.
  • Alexander Findura, Bloomsburg, DL, 6-6, 255, Soph., Woodland, Ga. (U. S. Marine Corps)
  • Rashaud Freeman, Webber International, LB, 6-0, 225, Frosh, Jacksonville, Fla. (U. S. Army)
  • Khalief Gamble, Becker College, DB, 5-9, 170, Soph., Gainesville, Fla. (U. S. Army)
  • Rasheed Holloway, Union College, WR, 6-0, 198, Frosh, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Joshua Horn, Western New England, LB, 6-0, 230, Frosh, Mendon, Mass.
  • Kenwon Mack, Union College, CB, 5-9, 165, Frosh, Detroit, Mich.
  • Deric Maddaleni, Endicott College, DL, 6-3, 240, Sen., Boxford, Mass. (U. S. Army)
  • Collin O’Donnell, Bluefield College, DL, 6-0, 250, Frosh, North Tonawanda, N.Y.
  • Cody Petero, Union College, TE, 5-9, 237, Soph., Pevely, Mo.
  • Jarris Wade, Hillsdale College, TB, 6-2, 227, Frosh, Oklahoma City, Okla. 

College Football Playoff

Football Staff

  • Troy Calhoun, Head Coach, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Jake Campbell, Assistant Backfield, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Lt. Col. Robert Green, Secondary, United States Naval Academy (U. S. Marine Corps)
  • Steed Lobotzke, Offensive Line, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Bruce Mackey, Offensive Line, Norwich University (Army National Guard)
  • Ben Miller, Running Backs/Special Teams Coordinator, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Maj. Dylan Newman, Defensive Assistant/Senior Military Rep., U. S. Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • John Rudzinski, Secondary, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Trent Steelman, Quarterbacks/B-Backs Coach, Jacksonville, University (U. S. Army)
  • Mike Thiessen, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Kevin Turco, Head Coach, Lindenwood (U. S. Marine Corps)
  • Jim Turner, Offensive Line Coach, Texas A&M University (U. S. Marine Corps)
  • Mike Viti, Assistant Football Coach/Fullback, United States Military Academy (U. S. Army)
  • Charlton Warren, Cornerbacks, Florida (U. S. Air Force)
  • Maj. Ross Weaver, Assistant Offensive Line Coach, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Mick Yokitis, Wide Receivers, United States Naval Academy (U. S. Navy)
  • Jake Zweig, Special Teams Analyst, Illinois, (U. S. Navy)

Football Support Staff 

  • Jordan Simmons, Strength & Conditioning, Nevada (U. S. Army)
  • Rusty Whitt, Strength & Conditioning, Texas Tech (U. S. Army) 

Staffing 

  • Cmdr. H. Lamont Gourdine, Deputy Director of Athletics (Military), United States Naval Academy (U.S. Navy)
  • Cmdr. Kevin Haney, Faculty Representative, United States Naval Academy (U. S. Navy)
  • Jim Knowlton, Director of Athletics, University of California (U. S. Army)
  • Lance E. LeClere, Orthopedic Surgeon, United States Naval Academy (U. S. Navy)
  • Dan McCarthy, Director of Football Operations, United States Military Academy (U. S. Army)
  • LTC John Nawoichyk, Assistant AD/Military Operations, United States Military Academy (U. S. Army)
  • Steve Senn, Director of Recruiting and Player Personnel, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • CPT Jeremy Trimble, Admission Support, United States Military Academy (U. S. Army) 

Referees

  • Raymond Daniel, Official, Mid-American Conference (Army National Guard)
  • Steve Thielen, Official, Mid-American Conference (U. S. Army)

Florida State’s Robinson nominated for Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award

Sophomore defensive end lost childhood home in hurricane

DALLAS — Florida State’s Janarius Robinson is this week’s nominee for the 2018 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award. Robinson, a redshirt sophomore defensive end, starred for the Seminoles in their win Saturday over Wake Forest, his first game back after losing his childhood home to Hurricane Michael.

Janarius Robinson

“It’s been better getting back to practice after going through what I’ve been going through for the last week,” Robinson said last week, according to The Athletic. “It’s a time for me to get my mind away and off of the things that have happened. I come out here, get my mind off of it and get back to work with my brothers.”

Robinson’s hometown of Panama City, Fla., was one of the hardest-hit areas of Hurricane Michael. His family had evacuated to Georgia beforehand, and when they returned Friday, the house – which was originally owned by Robinson’s grandmother – was gone.

The 6-foot-5, 259-pound Robinson returned to practice last Tuesday and on Saturday notched a career-best six tackles, including one sack, in the Seminoles’ 38-17 win over the Demon Deacons.

A GoFundMe page was created with NCAA approval to help the Robinsons, with a goal of raising $75,000. As of Oct. 22, it has raised more than $107,000.

The Courage Award was first presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) in 2002. A select group of writers from the FWAA vote on the winner each year. The requirements for nomination include displaying courage on or off the field, including overcoming an injury or physical handicap, preventing a disaster or living through hardship. The winner of the award will be included in festivities during Capital One Orange Bowl week and receive his trophy at an on-field presentation.

Previous winners of the Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award are Wisconsin safety D’Cota Dixon (2017) Pittsburgh running back James Conner (2016), Miami offensive lineman Hunter Knighton (2015), Duke offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson (2014), San Jose State defensive lineman Anthony Larceval (2013), Clemson wide receiver Daniel Rodriguez (2012), Michigan State offensive lineman Arthur Ray Jr. (2011), Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand (2010), the University of Connecticut football team (2009), Tulsa’s Wilson Holloway (2008), Navy’s Zerbin Singleton (2007), Clemson’s Ray Ray McElrathbey (2006), the Tulane football team (2005), Memphis’ Haracio Colen (2004), San Jose State’s Neil Parry (2003) and Toledo’s William Bratton (2002).

About the Orange Bowl

The Orange Bowl is a 360-member, primarily-volunteer non-profit sports organization that promotes and serves the South Florida community. With its primary mission since being created in 1935 to bring tourism to South Florida through an annual football game and events, it has also maintained a legacy of charitable contributions and community outreach. Orange Bowl community outreach efforts are comprised of four pillars: youth sports, fundraising and community events, academic programs and scholarships, and legacy gifts. The Orange Bowl features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 29, 2018. For more information on the 2018-19 Orange Bowl events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program presented by Panera Bread, log on to orangebowl.org. Follow Orange Bowl: @OrangeBowl, Facebook and Instagram.

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America 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.

2018 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
Sept. 12: John Schlarman, Kentucky | High-resolution headshot
Sept. 19: Nic Weishar, Notre Dame | High-resolution headshot
Sept. 26: Rex Culpepper, Syracuse | High-resolution headshot
Oct. 3: Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech | High-resolution headshot
Oct. 10: Antwan Dixon, Kent State | High-resolution headshot
Oct. 17: Marquez Stevenson, Houston | High-resolution headshot
Oct. 24: Janarius Robinson, Florida State | High-resolution headshot

Related link:
Capital One Orange Bowl Courage Award

 

Houston’s Robinson is Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week

Senior linebacker posts 21 tackles in win over Navy

DALLAS — Houston inside linebacker Austin Robinson posted career highs with 21 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks as the Cougars handed Navy its worst home loss since 2011, 49-36. For posting the second-highest tackle total in American Athletic Conference history, Robinson has earned the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Oct. 20, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.

Robinson’s 21 tackles tied for the eighth-best single-game effort in school history, and is the team’s most since 2012. It was his third double-digit tackle game this season, and Robinson now leads the conference with 75 tackles on the season. His 8.5 tackles for loss and four sacks each are sixth in the conference for a Houston defense that is tied for 19th nationally with 56.0 TFL’s.

The 6-3, 240-pound senior from Pearland, Texas, drew specific praise from Houston head coach Major Applewhite after the win.

“He’s been through a lot. He was a quarterback who moved to safety and then to linebacker, from one school (UTSA) to the next,” Applewhite said. “He’s just another tough Houston kid that has worked his tail off and we’re starting to see it paying off for him. The way our players prepare, if you could see them throughout the week you’d be so happy for them to see them get what they work for. It’s awesome.”

Each Tuesday during the regular season, the FWAA has selected a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001. Robinson will be added to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Wed., Nov. 14. The winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2018 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 Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalists. The committee members then select the winner as the best defensive player in college football.

The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Mon., Dec. 3 at the Charlotte Convention Center. In addition to the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner’s announcement, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by the Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery.

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.

About the Football Writers Association of America:
Founded in 1941, the FWAA 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 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 $2,000,000 to benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. 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 phone service, high-speed internet, wireless, television, security and automation, computer support, payment processing and natural gas and electricity. ACN operates in 25 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.

About Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery
Dr. Richard R. Rolle Jr. is a leading oral & maxillofacial surgeon, with strong ties to athletics and delivering excellence http://www.rolleoralfacialsurgery.com. Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery offers expertise in: dental implants, wisdom tooth extraction, youth-capturing, cosmetic injectables, oral surgery and cleft lip reconstruction in his Lake Norman, North Carolina practice. Dr. Rolle holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame where he played varsity football under legendary Coach Lou Holtz. He completed his oral surgery internship at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital and holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery from Meharry Medical College. Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery is the official surgeon for the Charlotte Hornets, Charlotte Checkers and Charlotte 49ers.

2018 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
• Weekend of Sept. 1: Tyler Horton, Boise State
• Weekend of Sept. 8: Nate Landman, Colorado
• Weekend of Sept. 15: Alvin Davis Jr., Akron
• Weekend of Sept. 22: Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington
• Weekend of Sept. 29: Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
• Weekend of Oct. 6: Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
• Weekend of Oct. 13: Keisean Lucier-South, UCLA
• Weekend of Oct. 20: Austin Robinson, Houston

Related link:
Bronko Nagurski Trophy (All-Time Winners, Finalists and Players of the Week)