Two Tigers named to Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list

Two Tigers named to Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list

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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.

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.


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 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 for more information about the FWAA and its award programs.

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