SEC Dominates 2019 Nagurski Trophy Watch List

SEC Trophy

DALLAS (FWAA) – 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.

Source: Football Writers Association of America

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)

SEC Players in bold 

DB DeMarkus Acy, Missouri
DB Paulson Adebo, Stanford
DE Bradlee Anae, Utah
LB Rayshard Ashby, Virginia Tech
LB Joe Bachie, Michigan State
DE JaQuan Bailey, Iowa State
LB Markus Bailey, Purdue
DB Essang Bassey, Wake Forest
LB Shaun Bradley, Temple
DB Antoine Brooks Jr., Maryland
LB Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech
DT Derrick Brown, Auburn
DB Myles Bryant, Washington
DB Andre Cisco, Syracuse
DE Nick Coe, Auburn
LB Carter Coughlin, Minnesota
DB Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State
DE Raekwon Davis, Alabama
DB Grant Delpit, LSU
DB Trevon Diggs, Alabama

DE Victor Dimukeje, Duke
LB Troy Dye, Oregon
LB Cooper Edmiston, Tulsa
DE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
LB Jordan Fehr, Appalachian State
LB Paddy Fisher, Northwestern
DB Jordan Fuller, Ohio State
DB Kristian Fulton, LSU
LB Lawrence Garner, Old Dominion
LB Cale Garrett, Missouri
DE Jonathan Garvin, Miami
DE Joe Gaziano, Northwestern
DB Alohi Gilman, Notre Dame
DB Jeff Gladney, TCU
DB Richie Grant, UCF
DB A.J. Green, Oklahoma State
DE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
DB Javon Hagan, Ohio
DB Bryce Hall, Virginia
LB Ky’el Hemby, Southern Miss
DB CJ Henderson, Florida
DB Lavert Hill, Michigan
DE Wyatt Hubert, Kansas State
LB Bryce Huff, Memphis
LB Anfernee Jennings, Alabama
DB Jaylon Johnson, Utah
DE Mustafa Johnson, Colorado
DE Patrick Johnson, Tulane
LB Clay Johnston, Baylor
DB Brandon Jones, Texas
LB Antonio Jones-Davis, NIU
DE Khalid Kareem, Notre Dame
LB Nate Landman, Colorado
LB Sage Lewis, FIU
DT Ray Lima, Iowa State
LB Bryan London II, Texas State
LB Jordan Mack, Virginia
DT Justin Madubuke, Texas A&M
DB Kevin McGill, Eastern Michigan
DB Josh Metellus, Michigan
LB Dylan Moses, Alabama
LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
DE Julian Okwara, Notre Dame
LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
LB Jacob Phillips, LSU
LB Shaquille Quarterman, Miami
DB J.R. Reed, Georgia
DB Elijah Riley, Army
DB Amik Robertson, Louisiana Tech
LB Merlin Robertson, Arizona State
DE Alton Robinson, Syracuse
LB Colin Schooler, Arizona
DT Jordon Scott, Oregon
LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
LB Marcel Spears, Iowa State
DB Caden Sterns, Texas
LB Darrell Taylor, Tennessee
LB Kyahva Tezino, San Diego State
DE Xavier Thomas, Clemson
LB Erroll Thompson, Mississippi State
DT Khyiris Tonga, BYU
DE Jay Tufele, USC
LB Mykal Walker, Fresno State
DE Curtis Weaver, Boise State
LB Evan Weaver, California
DB James Wiggins, Cincinnati
DE Kenny Willekes, Michigan State
DT Marvin Wilson, Florida State
DT Robert Windsor, Penn State
LB David Woodward, Utah State
DE Chase Young, Ohio State
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.

The members of the NCFAA have been unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 10-day period this month. Sixteen of the association’s 25 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the remaining 2019 preseason watch list calendar:

Tues., July 23: Bronko Nagurski Trophy/Outland Trophy presented by NFID
Wed., July 24: Lou Groza Award/Ray Guy Award
Thurs., July 25: Paul Hornung Award/Wuerffel Trophy
Fri., July 26: Walter Camp Award

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

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