DALLAS (FWAA) – Five finalists have been chosen
for the 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is awarded
annually to the best defensive player in college football by the
Football Writers Association of America and the
Charlotte Touchdown Club.
The finalists, in alphabetical order, are: Alabama end
Jonathan Allen, Alabama linebacker Reuben
Foster, Florida State cornerback Tarvarus McFadden,
Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers and Clemson
end Christian Wilkins.
Top-ranked and unbeaten Alabama has a Bronko Nagurski Trophy
finalist for the sixth straight year and for the seventh time in
eight years. Clemson has a finalist for the second straight year.
Florida State’s last finalist was in 2013 and Michigan’s in 2006.
Clemson has had one previous winner, Da’Quan Bowers in 2010.
And Michigan’s Charles Woodson was the 1997 winner during the same
season in which he collected the Heisman Trophy. Both Alabama and
Florida State will be seeking a winner for the first time this year.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from these five
finalists, who are part of the 2016 FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA
All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s
entire membership, selected the Nagurski Trophy finalists and will
choose the winner.
Allen, a 6-3, 291-pound senior from Leesburg, Va., and Foster,
a 6-1, 228-pound senior from Auburn, Ala., are two of the standouts
on Alabama’s defense, which is one of the best in the country. The
Crimson Tide ranks No. 1 in the FBS in rushing defense (68.8 yards
allowed per game), and No. 2 in both scoring defense (12.2 points
per game allowed) and in total defense (259.5 yards allowed per
Allen, who is tied for second place on the Crimson Tide’s career
sack list with 25, has 7.5 sacks for 55 yards in losses this season.
He has 13 quarterback hurries, has broken up two passes, and blocked
a kick. He has scored touchdowns on two fumble recoveries – a 75-yard
return against Mississippi and a 30-yard return against Texas A&M.
Foster is Alabama’s leading tackler with 70 tackles (35 unassisted).
Along with Allen, he also has started all 10 games this season.
Foster has seven tackles for 29 yards in losses, two of which are
sacks. He has two passes broken up and four quarterback hurries.
McFadden, a 6-2, 198-pound sophomore cornerback from Fort Lauderdale,
Fla., leads the country with seven interceptions. He is the first
Seminole with seven interceptions since 1997 and is already tied
for the fourth highest interception total by an FSU player in a
single season. He also chips in 14 tackles (11 unassisted), three
tackles for 12 yards in losses and four passes broken up for the
Michigan’s Peppers, a 6-1, 205-pound junior linebacker from East
Orange, N.J., who plays some defensive back, has played 13 different
positions during the 2016 season. But he is the star of the defense
that ranks No. 1 in the country in scoring defense (allowing 11.0
ppg), in total defense (allowing 244.7 yards per game) and in passing
defense (allowing 131.6 yards per game). Peppers is the season’s
second-leading tackler on the team with 59 (14 of which have been
for 63 yards in losses). He has a forced fumble and eight quarterback
hurries for the once-beaten Wolverines.
Wilkins, a 6-4, 310-pound sophomore end from Springfield, Mass.,
is one of the defensive stalwarts for the Tigers, who have lost
only to Pittsburgh. He plays more end than tackle. Over the course
of the season he has made 45 tackles (33 unassisted). He has a team-leading
11 tackles for 47 yards in losses, 3.5 of which are sacks. He has
also recovered a fumble and blocked a kick for Clemson, which ranks
12th in FBS in scoring defense (18.4 points allowed per game.)
The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN,
will be held on Mon., Dec. 5, at the Charlotte Convention Center.
In addition to the 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner’s announcement,
the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski
Legends Award, sponsored by the CTC and Florida East Coast Railway.
Navy’s Chet Moeller, a member of the FWAA’s 1975 All-America Team
and a College Football Hall of Famer, will be honored. Duke head
coach David Cutcliffe will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.
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 Football Writers Association of America,
founded in 1941, 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
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National
College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses
the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast
more than 700 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit ncfaa.org
to learn more about our story.
ABOUT THE CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB AND ITS SPONSORS
The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit
organization founded in 1990 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. 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.
Founded in 1993, ACN is the world’s
largest direct seller of telecommunications and essential services
for residential and business customers. ACN provides the services
people need and use every day including Home Phone Service, High
Speed Internet, Wireless, Television, Home Security & Automation,
Computer Support and Natural Gas and Electricity. ACN operates in
23 countries with offices located throughout North America, Europe,
Asia and the Pacific. For more information, visit myacn.com. For
information on ACN’s home-based business opportunity, visit acninc.com.
Florida East Coast Railway
FECR is a regional
freight railroad that extends along a 351-mile corridor between
Jacksonville, Fla., and Miami, Fla., with exclusive rail access
to the Port of Palm Beach, Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale) and
the Port of Miami. For more information, visit fecrwy.com.
Electrolux is a global leader
in appliances for household and professional use, selling more than
50 million products to customers in more than 150 countries every
year. The company focuses on innovations that are thoughtfully designed,
based on extensive consumer insight, to meet the real needs of consumers
and professionals. Electrolux products include refrigerators, dishwashers,
washing machines, vacuum cleaners, cookers and air-conditioners
sold under esteemed brands such as Electrolux, Frigidaire, Kelvinator,
AEG, and Eureka. In 2012, Electrolux had sales of $17 billion ($5.1
billion in North America) and 58,000 employees. The Electrolux North
American headquarters is located at 10200 David Taylor Drive, Charlotte,
NC 28262 in the University Research Park. For more information visit
|2016 FWAA ALL-AMERICA
||San Antonio Express-News
||Phil Steele Publications