Digital Postcard: 1944, The First FWAA All-America Team

This is the first in a series of digital postcards celebrating 75 years of the FWAA All-America Team presented by the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. The first FWAA All-America Team was published in 1944 during World War II and is the second-longest continuously published team in major-college football. The Cotton Bowl Classic announced a new partnership with the FWAA this year to sponsor the FWAA All-America Team and help promote and profile the annual team, including the weekly distribution of these digital postcards. For a full list of each of the FWAA All-America Teams, go to http://www.sportswriters.net/fwaa/awards/allamerica/alltime.pdf

In 1944… Gas sold for 21 cents a gallon. Bread cost nine cents a loaf. The Stock Market was at 152…Future singing star Diana Ross was born…Going My Way was named Best Picture…D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy, proved to be the turning point in World War II. The Missus Goes Shopping aired as an early TV series…Navy bomber pilot Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., oldest brother of future U.S. President John F. Kennedy, was killed in action during a mission in the European Theater.

The 1944 FWAA All-America Team had a strong military influence, including Army’s Mr. Inside (Doc Blanchard) and Mr. Outside (Glenn Davis), offensive backfield stars on Coach Red Blaik’s powerhouse West Point team that would finish No. 1 in the major polls. Also, in that backfield was Les Horvath, a graduate student in the Ohio State dental school program who was asked back on the Buckeye roster. Horvath claimed the Heisman Trophy that season as the Buckeyes finished unbeaten. A fourth notable player on the first-team was Oklahoma A&M back Bob Fenimore.

All told, Ohio State, Army and Navy each had three players on either the first or second teams. Georgia Tech’s Frank Broyles was on the second team. He would later go on to a College Football Hall of Fame career as a coach at Arkansas. Currently, there are nine people on the inaugural FWAA All-America Team who are members of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Catch a Glimpse of the Army duo

The Cotton Bowl Tie: Frank Broyles later coached four Arkansas teams in the Cotton Bowl– in 1961, 1965, 1966 and 1976– and finished with a 2-2 record. His 1964 team (1965 Cotton Bowl) defeated Nebraska, 10-7, and won its only national championship (FWAA) Grantland Rice Trophy) to date.

Your 1944 FWAA All-America Team Selectors:

Wilfrid Smith, Chicago Tribune

C.E. McBride, Kansas City Star

Bert McGrane, Des Moines Register

Bill Leiser, San Francisco Chronicle

Charles Johnson, Minneapolis Star Journal

Francis J. Powers, Chicago Daily News

Raymond Johnson, Nashville Tennessean

R.C. Woodworth, Purdue University

27th Annual FWAA Best Writing Contest Results

The four winners of the FWAA’s 27th Annual Best Writing Contest announced today range in age from 29 to 82.

One first-place recipient is a seven-time winner (Ivan Maisel, 59, ESPN.com). Another winner (retired Bob Hammel, 82, Bloomington Herald-Times) hadn’t entered the contest in 23 years. A third winner (Jake Trotter, 38, ESPN.com) wrote about a star running back who made his mark in 1988 when the writer was seven years old. And the final winner (Mike DeFabo, 29, Anderson Herald-Bulletin) captured first place writing about Purdue football, but now is covering an NHL team.

DeFabo, who now works for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette covering the Penguins, collected a first in Game Story and also a second in Columns. Other writers who claimed double awards were Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports (two honorable mentions) and David Barron of the Houston Chronicle (two honorable mentions).

At the FWAA’s Annual Awards Breakfast on Jan. 13 in New Orleans at the CFP National Championship Game, first-place winners will receive footballs, certificates and cash prizes. Second and third-place finishers will receive certificates and cash prizes. Honorable mentions will receive certificates.

Click on the links below to read the first-place winning entries.

GAME

First Place — Mike DeFabo, Anderson Herald-Bulletin

Second Place — Michael Lev, Arizona Daily Star/Tucson.com

Third Place — David Teel, Daily Press

Honorable Mention — Alex Scarborough, ESPN.com; Bill Bender, Sporting News; Edward Aschoff, ESPN.com

FEATURE

First Place Bob Hammel, Bloomington Herald-Times (retired)

Second Place Ron Higgins, Times-Picayune/NOLA.com

Third Place— Paul Payne, The Montgomery Advertiser

Honorable Mention Pete Thamel, Yahoo Sports; Dave Wilson, ESPN.com; Glenn Guilbeau, USA Today Network; David Barron, Houston Chronicle

 

COLUMNS

First Place Ivan Maisel, ESPN.com

Second Place Mike DeFabo, Anderson Herald-Bulletin

Third Place Harry Minium, odusports.com

Honorable Mention Dick Gabriel, WKYT/Big Blue Insider; Pete Thamel, Yahoo Sports; Mark Rea, Buckeye Sports Bulletin

ENTERPRISE

First Place — Jake Trotter, ESPN.com

Second Place — Christopher Walsh, SEC Country

Third Place – Adam Rittenberg, Heather Dinich, Tom VanHaaren, ESPN.com

Honorable Mention — Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman; Matt Fortuna, The Athletic; David Barron, Houston Chronicle

 

2019 Best Enterprise: Jake Trotter

Comment by the judge: Informative, anecdote-filled story on Barry Sanders’ magical 1988 season at Oklahoma State. Thirty years later, with a view from the insiders at Oklahoma State and Sanders himself, we get a lot of the reasons why that may be the greatest single season by a running back in college football history. From a Heisman Trophy nobody to a Heisman Trophy winner.

By Jake Trotter

ESPN.com

The first time Barry Sanders touched the football in 1988, he scored a touchdown. Fittingly, the final time he carried it for Oklahoma State that season, he scored as well.

Both plays were equally spectacular and bookended the greatest individual season the college football world has ever seen, and 30 years later, Sanders’ ’88 season remains — like so many of his runs — untouchable.

“You can argue about a lot of different people, who’s the best ever in whatever sport,” said Mike Gundy, who before becoming OSU’s head coach was Sanders’ college quarterback. “LeBron James and Michael Jordan in the NBA. Jim Brown and whoever else in pro football. But college football? There’s nobody that can touch the guy. Just can’t.

“There’s nobody that compares to him.”

In ’88, Sanders didn’t rewrite the records books, he incinerated them. He rushed for 2,850 yards, scored 44 touchdowns and broke 34 NCAA records.

In the years since, offense has exploded in the college game, while the pace has quickened.

And yet, most of Sanders’ FBS records remain intact.

“If he were playing in today’s offenses, he very well could’ve rushed for 4,000 yards, easy,” Gundy said. “Look at the number of plays that we have on offense today compared to back then. We huddled up, we were slow. And the majority of the games very seldom was he ever touching the field in the fourth quarter because we were blowing teams out.”

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2019 Best Game Story: Mike DeFabo

Comment by the judge: Heart touching story that was superbly written. Reading the story made you feel as if you were there, watching the game. Excellent quotes from Jeff Brohm and the Purdue players. Good background to remind everyone what a mammoth upset this was, mentioning that Purdue had lost its first three games. Also good info on three players who almost weren’t on this Purdue team, but played a big part in the victory.

By Mike DeFabo

Anderson Herald-Bulletin

WEST LAFAYETTE — Just getting to the game would have been a win in itself for Tyler Trent.

The Carmel native, fighting for every day he has left, went to sleep Friday night thinking he wouldn’t make it to Purdue’s game against No. 2 Ohio State at Ross-Ade Stadium. His terminal bone cancer sapped his energy. He vomited all day. Already the growing tumor on his spine metastasized to his kidneys, forcing him to leave the university and enter hospice care. If the game had been on Friday, his mother said he wouldn’t have been there.

But Saturday was a different day, and Tyler is a different breed.

We’re talking about the guy who earned super fan status last year by camping outside of Ross-Ade Stadium just hours after undergoing chemotherapy. He made it then. He was going to find a way to make it to this one, knowing it’s likely the last game he’ll see in person.

A family friend shaved a Purdue “P” into what’s left of his thinning hair and outlined it with paint, and Tyler slipped on his gold-and-black blazer. At kickoff, Tyler was there to hear the Boilermaker fans chant “Cancer Sucks,”altering their traditional chant by replacing their biggest rival, IU, with an even more hated one.

That was a win. Tyler won.

“Someone who is a Boilermaker through and through,” quarterback David Blough said. “We needed to show the courage and the toughness and the fight that he displays every single day. We love him. We’ve been playing for him. We’ve been praying for him.”

Then, what was supposed to be a special moment turned into something more.

More…

2019 Best Column: Ivan Maisel

Comment by the judge: Suicide: Amazing story weaving the writer’s personal emotions and experience with that of the parents of the Washington State quarterback who committed suicide. “A club no parent ever wants to join” is an insightful empathy that only someone with intimate knowledge of the pain and heartache could put into words. Phenomenal.

By Ivan Maisel

ESPN.com

IRVINE, Calif. — I came of age in the wake of Woodward and Bernstein, when young journalists were taught to be as neutral as the painted highway stripe. After nearly four decades as a sportswriter, I have learned to negotiate a middle ground between my training and my life experience. Some stories demand more of the latter.

I understood that the moment I read last January that Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski ended his life. He was a college junior, 21 years old, the second of three children, hundreds of miles away from home.

Almost three years earlier, my son Max ended his life. He was a college junior, the second of three children, 21 years old, hundreds of miles away from home.

Like a winemaker trying to create a structured red, how much of the skin you leave in the juice changes the color and character of the final product. I’ve got a lot of skin in this one.

There’s often an immediate intimacy among parents whose children have ended their lives. We get it. The loss of a child is an awful subject, so awful that it makes people uncomfortable. They don’t know what to say. One of the many secrets of The Club No One Wants to Join is that we love to talk about the children we’ve lost. Talking about them keeps them present.

But people hesitate, sometimes under the guise of protecting the feelings of the bereaved. I would say, always with a smile to smooth the delivery of the sarcasm, “You know, if you hadn’t brought Max up, I wouldn’t have been thinking of him.”

When you live with the awful every moment of every day, the awful becomes everyday. It is no longer so daunting. When someone told me I was living “a parent’s worst nightmare,” I responded, “No, you wake up from nightmares.”

The first time I called Mark Hilinski, Tyler’s father, we spoke for 1 hour, 10 minutes. “I had never talked to anybody — in my spot,” Mark said later, with a mirthless laugh. “Got emails, got letters, got cards, read a ton. … But that was the first time I had talked to anybody that kinda sat over here, and I appreciated it.”

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2019 Best Feature: Bob Hammel

Comment by the judge: Usually don’t care for first person stories, but this one was exceptional. The writer subtlely worked his way in as merely an observer of one of the most significant, yet often unknown, players in college football history.  Good writing and presentation.      

By Bob Hammel

Bloomington Herald-Times retired

For years, for a full generation after them, they looked out from an honored spot on the northeast wall of The Gables restaurant, a humming place then with its own hallowed role in IU history. It was a picture as iconic in Indiana University football history as the one of the Four Horsemen is at Notre Dame. A black-and-white picture given color, of the starters on the 1945 team that had given Indiana – still – its best season in history. Four feet-by-twelve feet, posted for the first time the week of the Purdue game in 1945. You can still see that picture today, on the third floor of Henke Hall in Memorial Stadium’s north end zone, and they still look heroic.

And today, the 75th anniversary of their season just a couple of horizons away, they are almost all gone. Quarterback Ben Raimondi is the last one standing after the death Monday of George Taliaferro – maybe not the best of them, but if not, close; maybe not the reason they went unbeaten, but a reason; definitely, no maybe about it, the legendmaker of them all.

IU lost a whole lot more than a former football player Monday. George ruffled his share of feathers along the way but made a great university greater. Football was his starting point, but not his limit. He was a champion of integration and racial equality, but that didn’t fully define him, either. He was the first to admit he married “up,” and he and wife Viola gave Bloomington a community conscience regarding responsibility and genuine care for kids, kids coming along without Rockwellian families, kids who are our future. Black kids, white kids, kids. The Taliaferros, long after the last football stadium cheer died out, influenced that future in ways that will live long after both.

But today my own mind sees George on a football field, George in No. 44, George in the flame of youth playing a game but changing a world.

As events as recently as last week remind us, Bloomington, IU, the Big Ten, college athletics have not always been equal-opportunity symbols. George came to IU from Gary Roosevelt High, one of those all-black schools intended in metropolitan areas to do just that: take in all of a community’s black kids so the rest of the city could stay all-white. Those schools – Crispus Attucks in Indianapolis, Lincoln in Evansville two of them – were public but denied full entry into the Indiana High School Athletic Association until 1943, when George was already in high school. At Roosevelt, his teams rarely played hometown opponents, commonly routed out of state – sometimes long distances – to find teams that would play them.

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Members: Nominate your daughter or son for the Volney Meece Scholarship

The FWAA is now accepting applications for the 23nd annual Volney Meece Scholarship.

For an application please contact Dave Sittler, 8314 S. Jamestown Ave, Tulsa, OK 74137. His email is davesitt@aol.com and his cell phone is 918-629-3851 (text).

Applications must be received by Dec. 15, 2019.

The scholarship is awarded annually by the FWAA and named for the late Volney Meece, who served 22 years as the FWAA’s Executive Director and was the organization’s President in 1971.

The $1,000 annual grant for four years is awarded to a deserving son or daughter of an FWAA member. Since the program started in 1997, the FWAA has distributed more than $90,000 in scholarship money to deserving children of FWAA members.

The winner will be announced at the FWAA’s Annual Awards Breakfast at the media hotel in conjunction with the College Football Playoff  National Championship Game.

Past winners of the Volney Meece Scholarship
1997  Brett Goering  Topeka, Kan.
1998  Kelly Brooks  Denver, Colo.
1999  James Butz  Schaumberg, Ill.
2000  Sara Barnhart  Atlanta, Ga.
2001  Patrick Davis  Coventry, Conn.
2002  Jacqueline O’Toole  Gaithersburg, Md.
2003  Garrett Holtz  Denver, Colo.
2004  Katie Hersom  Oklahoma City, Okla.
2005  Katie Wieberg  Lawson, Mo.
2006  Kaylynn Monroe  Winter Park, Fla.
2007  Nate Kerkhoff  Overland Park, Kan.
2008  Jack Caywood  Lawrence, Kan.
2009  Haley Dodd  Overland Park, Kan.
2010  Donald Hunt  Philadelphia, Pa.
2011  Alaina Martens  Papillion, Neb.
2012  Emily Alford  Tupelo, Miss.
2013  Sarah Helsley  Edmond, Okla.
2014 Robert Abramson Palos Verde, Calif.
2015 Danielle Hoover Tulsa, Okla.
2016 Dolen Helwagen Pataskala, Ohio
2017 Elizabeth Schroeder Norman, Okla.
2018 Mallory Rosetta Baton Rouge, La.

President’s column: Monitoring safety and access as the season begins

By Matt Fortuna

Greetings from game day, which in my case meant Death Valley for a primetime Thursday debut of the defending national champs, and in your case can mean anywhere from Minneapolis to College Station, with plenty of places in between.

2019 FWAA President Matt Fortuna

With talkin’ season over and the actual football season finally here, I wanted to check in with our membership and share some of the themes we have been gathering from across the country during both the media days circuit and the fall camp circuit.

We have heard plenty of good, such as the school that reached out to FWAA board member Nicole Auerbach to ask what the program could do to ensure the safety of women who cover night games there this season.

We have also heard some not so-good, such as the assistant coaches at one school who have reached out to multiple reporters on their beat to complain about protocols put in place by their media relations folks.

Conference media days are always tough events to measure when it comes to convenience, given the differing needs of so many different outlets in a short time span. I do want to single out the Pac-12’s operation, however, for running a first-class event. I went out to Los Angeles on behalf of the FWAA in July, and I have to say, whether your outlet was in print, on television or on radio, you were able to get every single thing you needed in a relaxed environment — all in a day’s span. Bravo.

Additionally, members of our access committee have kept their eyes and ears to the ground in reporting back to us about matters both good and bad that they have come across. It is important to remember that this is a two-way street between media and SIDs, and that we must be able to police ourselves if we see someone on one of our beats abusing the privileges that we receive as part of our jobs. As always, I am available for any questions or advice at mfortuna@theathletic.com.

With all of that being said, now the real fun (and pressure) begins. Games will be won and lost, which means that questions will become a little more specific, which in turn means that coaches and players will become a little more guarded in their answers. Let’s all remember how mutually beneficial all of our relationships can be. As ESPN’s CFB150 special, “Football Is Us,” reminded us last week, Knute Rockne — arguably the most famous coach of them all — was the absolute best when it came to PR.

I’d say that philosophy worked out pretty well for all parties he came across.

Happy football season, everyone! Look forward to hearing from you all.

Nominations sought 2019 Armed Forces Merit Award

FORT WORTH, Texas — Nominations are now being accepted for the 2019 Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America.

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 or a group with a military background and/or involvement impacting college football.”

Nominations for the 2019 Armed Forces Merit Award will be accepted through October 1. At that time, a selection committee of five FWAA members and two representatives from the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl will review the list of candidates. The 2019 recipient will be announced on Veteran’s Day, November 11.

“We are pleased to join with the Football Writers Association of America to honor an individual with a military background or group that works with our armed services that has an impact within college football,” said Brant Ringler, the Executive Director of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.

FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson echoed Ringler’s sentiments, adding that the group “has an outstanding list of candidates each year, making it difficult to honor only one recipient when there are several individuals and programs so very deserving of the honor.”

From among 56 nominations considered for the 2018 award, Robert Morris President and Air Force veteran Dr. Chris Howard was selected as the seventh recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award. A 1991 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Dr. Howard was a Rhodes Scholar and received the 1990 Campbell Trophy, the highest academic award in the nation presented to a senior college football player by the National Football Foundation.

To nominate an individual or group for the Armed Forces Merit Award, please click on the link below for the nomination form, which should be completed and returned to:

Tim Simmons
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
9655 Yellowstone Road
Longmont, CO 80504

Armed Forces Merit Award Nomination Form.

 

2019 Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list unveiled

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 jrocco@touchdownclub.com). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.com.

Related link:
Download the 25th Anniversary Bronko Nagurski Trophy logo