DALLAS (FWAA) – Baylor linebacker Terrel
Bernard made a career-high 19 tackles that included 3.0
tackles for loss and a sack as the Bears remained undefeated with
a 29-23 overtime win at TCU. For posting Baylor's highest tackle
total since 2011, Bernard earned the Bronko Nagurski National
Defensive Player of the Week honor for games of the weekend
of Nov. 9, as selected by the Football Writers Association
a 6-1, 222-pound sophomore from La Porte, Texas also hauled in his
first interception of the season and the second of his career to
halt a TCU drive at the end of the third quarter. Bernard began
the season starting the first three games at weakside linebacker.
He didn't start the next three games before moving into the middle
when seasoned starter Clay Johnston suffered a season-ending injury
Oct. 12 in an overtime win over Texas Tech. Bernard has since surpassed
Johnston as the team's tackles leader with 68, 29 of those being
solo tackles (second on the team to Johnston).
Since taking over as the starter at middle linebacker (three
starts), Bernard is averaging 12.7 tackles per game with 5.0
TFL's and 2.0 sacks, and has an interception. On the season, the
Baylor defense is on pace to re-write its record book. The Bears
have 29 sacks in the first nine games of a season, most in its Big
12 era and Baylor has held nine straight conference opponents
to less than 30 points for the first time since joining the
Baylor is the only Big 12 team yet to allow 28 points in regulation
and leads the conference and is 17th nationally in scoring defense
(19.0 ppg). It has allowed 30 points or less in nine straight games,
the seventh-best streak in FBS. The Bears lead the Big 12 and are
14th nationally with those 29 sacks after only posting 25.0 in 13
games in 2018. Their 69.0 TFL's this season is tops in the Big 12
and 16th in the FBS.
Bernard's honor is only the second time for a Baylor player to
earn the FWAA's National Defensive Player of the Week. Travon Blanchard
earned it in 2016 after an 11-tackle, 4.5-TFL game against Oklahoma
State. The last time a Baylor player had as many as Bernard's 19
tackles was Sam Holl (21 against Kansas in 2011).
Baylor's defensive prowess, led by Bernard, comes with its biggest
test looming on Saturday when it hosts Oklahoma, the nation's total
offense leader, in a primetime showcase.
Each Tuesday during the regular season, the FWAA has selected
a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001.
Bernard will be added to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List.
The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists
for the 2019 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Wed., Nov. 20. The winner
will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2019
FWAA All-America Team.
The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association's
entire membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually
the Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalists. The committee members then
select the winner as the best defensive player in college football.
The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet presented by LendingTree
will be held on Mon., Dec. 9 in Charlotte. In addition to the 2019
Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner's announcement, the banquet will also
celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award.
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.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America 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
About the Charlotte Touchdown Club
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 email@example.com). The
official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.com.
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2019 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
• Weekend of Aug. 31: Alijah Halliburton, Wyoming
• Weekend of Sept. 7: Evan Weaver, Cal
• Weekend of Sept. 14: David Reese II, Florida
• Weekend of Sept. 21: Demetrius Taylor, Appalachian State
• Weekend of Sept. 28: Benny Walls, Temple
• Weekend of Oct. 5: Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech
• Weekend of Oct. 12: Israel Mukuamu, South Carolina
• Weekend of Oct. 19: Amik Robertson, Louisiana Tech
• Weekend of Oct. 26: Chase Young, Ohio State
• Weekend of Nov. 2: Dele Harding, Illinois
• Weekend of Nov. 9: Terrel Bernard, Baylor
• Bronko Nagurski Trophy (All-Time Winners, Finalists and Players of the Week)