Talley named 2024 Bronko Nagurski Legends Award winner

West Virginia Hall of Fame linebacker Darryl Talley
West Virginia Hall of Fame linebacker Darryl Talley

DALLAS (FWAA) – West Virginia Iinebacker Darryl Talley has been named the recipient of the 2024 Bronko Nagurski Legends Award and will be honored at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet on Dec. 9 at the Charlotte Convention Center.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is awarded to the top defensive player in college football each year, is announced by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America at the same event as the Legends Award.

The Bronko Nagurski Legends Award recipient each year is a player chosen from a past FWAA All-America team.The FWAA and the CTC have presented the Nagurski Legends Award since the 2007 season. Previous recipients include such standouts as Notre Dame's Alan Page, Michigan State's Bubba Smith, Miami's Ted Hendricks, Florida's Jack Youngblood, Maryland's Randy White, Ohio State's Tom Cousineau, UCLA's Jerry Robinson and Texas' Johnnie Johnson.

"Talley was the backcone of the West Virginia defense during his college career from 1979-82," said Steve Richardson, FWAA Executive Director. "He was a consenus All-Amercan in 1982 and was a tackling machine duringn his entire career, For a number of years he held the Mountaineer career tackling record before it was broken by Grant Wiley in 2000-03. He will join a star-studded group of players who have claimed this award from our past FWAA All-America teams.."

"I am extremely honored to accept this award," Talley said."The list of past recipients of this award is a Who's Who of College and Professional Football. The evening in Charlotte will bring back a lot of memories of the four great years I spent at West Virginia."

The 6-4, 230-pound Talley is no stranger to receiving awards. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011 and is a member of the West Virginia University Hall of Fame and Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame. Picked in the second round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, Talley played from 1983-94 in Buffalo and was part of four Super Bowl teams, in which he was the team-leader in tackles three of those seasons.

"Darryl Talley was a one-man wrecking crew," his West Virginia Coach Don Nehlen once said. "He was just all over the field."

During his career at West Virginia, Talley registered 484 total tackles when the Mountaineers posted 9-3 records and Top 20 rankings his junior and senior seasons of 1981 and 1982 and quaified for the Peach and Gator Bowls. He also made his mark in the NFL.

Selected in the second round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills (39th overall), Talley is the Bills' all-time leading tackler. During his entire NFL career he had 38.5 sacks, interceped 12 passes (189 return yards), forced 17 fumbles and recovered 14 fumbles (76 return yards). Talley averaged (per season, including short stints in in Atlanta and Minnesota) 120 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 6.2 takeaways. He never missed a game during his career with the Bills from 1983-94 and was named first-team All-Pro twice and made the Pro Bowl twice.

In 2010, Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly said Talley was his most underrated teammate and should be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which he has yet to be.

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, North Carolina region. Since its inception, the club has grown as well as diversified boasting a sponsor team of more than (80) companies. The Club's activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding Citizenship, Scholarship, Sportsmanship, and Leadership of area athletes and coaches. Through individual and corporate support, more than $3,000,000 has been raised and donated to benefit the Touchdown Club's scholarship efforts.

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Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America 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 at tiger@fwaa.com.

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The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is presented annually by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America to the nation's most outstanding NCAA defensive football player at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet in Charlotte, N.C. All proceeds benefit the Charlotte Touchdown Club Scholarship Fund. For more information call 704-347-2918 or touchdownclub.com.