CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FWAA) – Five finalists
for the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy presented
annually to the nation's top defensive player by the Football
Writers Association of America and the Charlotte
Touchdown Club were named on Wednesday.
alphabetical order, the finalists are: Kentucky linebacker
Allen, Michigan linebacker Devin Bush, LSU safety
Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and Alabama nose guard
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy recipient will be chosen from these
five finalists. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input
from the association's entire membership, selects 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.
Ohio State's Tom Cousineau, a member of the FWAA's 1977 All-America
team and a College Football Hall of Famer, will be honored. Michigan
head coach Jim Harbaugh will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.
Here is more information on the 2018 finalists, listed in alphabetical
Josh Allen, LB, Kentucky (6-5, 260, Sr., Montclair, N.J.): Allen
has hampered opposing offenses as a pass-rush specialist on the
edge. He leads the SEC with 15.5 tackles for loss, which is also
11th in the nation. His 11 sacks are third nationally and he is
one full sack shy of the Kentucky single-season record. Another
half-sack would tie him (25.5 at present) as the Wildcats' all-time
career leader. Allen gets progressively better during the game
nine of his 11 sacks have come in the second half with six of them
in the fourth quarter and he is a takeaway producer with five
forced fumbles, second in the nation. His 65 total tackles have
helped him be named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week four times.
Devin Bush, LB, Michigan (5-11, 222, Jr., Pembroke Pines, Fla.):
Bush is Michigan's ball-hawking tackle leader (61) on the nation's
leader in total defense (219.8 yards per game). He's always around
the ball on a defense that has allowed 338 fewer yards than any
team in the country; his 32 assists lead the team and his 29 solo
tackles are second. Bush is the Wolverines' leader with 8.0 tackles
for loss and has had at least one tackle for loss in six games.
He tied a career-best 2.5 tackles for loss against Nebraska to go
with a season-high nine tackles. His 4.5 sacks are second on the
team and Bush has contributed seven or more tackles in six games
while breaking up 4.5 passes.
Grant Delpit, S, LSU (6-3, 203, So., Houston, Texas): One of
this season's top underclassmen at any position, Delpit leads the
SEC and is tied for third in the nation with five interceptions.
He also leads the SEC in passes defensed (11) on a defense that
leads the SEC and is sixth nationally in pass efficiency defense
(98.28 rating). Delpit is third on the team in tackles with 63 and
leads in sacks (4.0) and tackles for loss (9.5, 14th nationally).
He's recorded double-digit tackles in three games with a career-high
of 10 against Auburn this season when he also had two interceptions
and a sack to earn SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors on Sept.
Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson (6-4, 300, Gr., Springfield, Mass.):
A standout player, even as part of a defensive line featuring four
returning All-Americans. Wilkins was an FWAA First-Team All-America
selection in 2016. He has 10.5 tackles for loss, second on the team,
to go with three sacks and 40 tackles (29 solo) for the season.
Clemson was No. 1 nationally in tackles for loss in the first two
of Wilkins' three prior seasons in the middle and was No. 6 last
year. His 13.5 stops behind the line have resulted in 67 yards of
losses. Wilkins will play in his 54th career game Saturday against
Duke. Wilkins graduated in 2017 with a degree in communications
in only two-and-a-half years.
Quinnen Williams, NG, Alabama (6-4, 295, So., Birmingham, Ala.):
The upstart sophomore leads Alabama with 14.0 tackles for loss for
minus-58 yards and is tied for 11th in the SEC with 5.0 sacks and
a 0.5 sacks per game average. He posted a career game against
LSU, tallying career highs in tackles (10) and sacks (2.5) and tying
a career high in tackles for loss (3.5). Williams, who earned the
Outland Trophy Defensive Player of the Month for October, clogs
the middle and allows those around him to create havoc Alabama
has had at least 10 tackles for loss in five of 10 games and in
three straight. The Crimson Tide's 36 team sacks and 3.60 sacks
per game are both tied for No. 3 nationally. Has been named a defensive
player of the week by the Alabama coaching staff eight times in
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
college footballs most prestigious awards. Founded in 1997, the
NCFAA and its 24 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to
1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.
The Football Writers Association of America,
founded in 1941, consists of 1,300 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org).
The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.com.
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ACN operates in 25 countries with offices located throughout North
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About Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery
Richard R. Rolle Jr. is a leading oral & maxillofacial surgeon,
with strong ties to athletics and delivering excellence.
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.
All-time Bronko Nagurski
Trophy winners and finalists