|DALLAS (FWAA) – Cal inside linebacker Evan Weaver tied a career-high with 18 tackles and two tackles for loss to help spur one of the nation’s upsets as the Bears beat Washington for a second consecutive year, 20-19. For his 14 solo tackles to go with a forced fumble, Weaver has earned the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Sept. 7, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.
The senior from Spokane, Wash., is the first Cal player to earn this honor. Weaver, a three-year letterman and the nation’s leading returning tackler (159 in 2018), now leads the nation in solo tackles with 20 and is second in total tackles at 15.0 per game (30 total). He also extended his string of consecutive double-digit-tackle games to nine in Saturday’s win, and currently sits 10th all-time for career tackles (259) at Cal.
Weaver helped contain Washington’s running game to 186 yards on 46 attempts. More importantly, Cal’s defense stiffened inside its red zone to hold Washington to three field goals once it crossed the 20 and four field goals overall. Weaver’s forced fumble led to a Cal recovery as well, as he has been a takeaway nemesis against Washington. He returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown to lift the Bears to a narrow 12-10 home win last year.
The win in Seattle ended Washington’s 15-game home winning streak. It also marked the first time the Bears have earned back-to-back wins over the Huskies since winning five in a row from 2002-06 and Cal has now won its road opener for a sixth consecutive season.
Each Tuesday during the regular season, the FWAA has selected a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001. Weaver was a member of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List to begin the season – other weekly winners are added to the 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 will be held on Monday, December 9th in Charlotte, NC. In addition to the 2019 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner’s announcement, UCLA’s Jerry Robinson from the Class of 1978 will receive this year’s Bronko Nagurski Legends Award. The keynote address will be delivered by Ohio State head coach Ryan Day. The Charlotte Touchdown Club will also be presenting the Defender of the Nation Award to a defensive player from one of the Nation’s nine military academies and institutions sponsored by The Independence Fund.
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 at 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 more than $2 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.
2019 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
• Weekend of Aug. 31: Alijah Halliburton, Wyoming
• Weekend of Sept. 7: Evan Weaver, Cal
• Bronko Nagurski Trophy (All-Time Winners, Finalists and Players of the Week)