DALLAS (FWAA) Oregon linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux posted a career-high nine tackles, eight of them solo with two sacks as part of 4.5 tackles for loss, and forced a fumble as Oregon (6-1, 3-1) remained in the hunt for the Pac-12 North Division title with a 34-31 win over UCLA at the Rose Bowl. Thibodeaux·s impact on defense earned him the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Oct. 23, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.
This is the second time for an Oregon player to earn this weekly honor this season, joining safety Verone McKinley III from the weekend of Sept. 11. They are the only two Ducks to earn the weekly award since it began in 2001. Oregon had a Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalist, Haloti Ngata, in 2005. Thibodeaux was a member of the preseason Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list.
The 6-5, 258-pound sophomore from South Central Los Angeles has had quite a dominant run since returning from an injury Oct. 2 against Stanford. Playing in his first full game of the season, his two-sack game was the fourth multi-sack performance of his career and first since the 2019 season. The career marks against UCLA also made him one of just seven FBS players this season to have at least nine tackles, four TFLs and two sacks in a game, and the first at Oregon since 2007. He's the first Oregon player with more than four TFLs in a game since Jalen Jelks on Sept. 23, 2017.
Thibodeaux has started four games at defensive end but is listed at outside linebacker for this week's home game against Colorado. He had six tackles and a TFL against Stanford on Oct. 2 after missing three games due to injury, then five tackles and a sack playing only the second half Oct. 15 against Cal (missing the first half as a result of a targeting call late against Stanford). In the past three games, Thibodeaux has 20 tackles, three sacks, 5.5 TFL's and forced a fumble.
He leads all Power 5 players in TFLs (31) since the start of the 2019 season and now has 16 career sacks.
The Ducks host Colorado at 12:30 p.m. PT Saturday on FOX.
Each Tuesday during the regular season, the FWAA has selected a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce three finalists for the 2021 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 17. The national defensive player of the year will be chosen from those finalists who are part of the 2021 FWAA All-America Team and presented with the trophy at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet presented by LendingTree on Dec. 6 at the Charlotte Convention Center
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 journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or email@example.com.
About the Charlotte Touchdown Club
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. Since 1990, the club has raised and donated nearly $3 million 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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2021 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
Weekend of Sept. 4: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
Weekend of Sept. 11: Verone McKinley III, S, Oregon
Weekend of Sept. 18: Jared Bartlett, DE, West Virginia
Weekend of Sept. 25: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
Weekend of Oct. 2: Khoury Bethley, S, Hawaii
Weekend of Oct. 9: Matt Hankins, CB, Iowa
Weekend of Oct. 16: Will Anderson Jr., LB, Alabama
Weekend of Oct. 23: Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE/LB, Oregon
Weekend of Oct. 30: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, DE, Kansas State
Weekend of Nov. 6: Steven Jones Jr., CB, App State
Bronko Nagurski Trophy (All-Time Winners, Finalists and Players of the Week)
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