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VIRGINIA TECH’S ANDREW MOTUAPUAKA DEFENDER OF THE NATION WEEKLY PLAYER PROFILE

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Bio: Andrew Motuapuaka (pronounced mo-TOO-uh-poo-WAH-kuh) was born in Auckland, New Zealand. He is the son of Siaosi and Manu Motuapuaka and brother to two siblings. His family migrated to the United States and his father joined the U.S. Army. Motuapuaka is currently a senior majoring multimedia journalism.

Stats: Led the Hokies with 114 tackles (52 solos) in 2016, while posting 5.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks…Intercepted three passes, including one in the ACC Championship Game versus Clemson…added five quarterback hurries and seven passes defended, in addition to two fumble recoveries, one of which he took back 70 yards for a touchdown…has played in 37 career games for VT (29 starts)…accolades consist of Team All-ACC (Pro Football Focus), Third Team All-ACC (Phil Steele), ACC Defensive Linebacker Player of the Week (ACC 11/28), and Team of the Week Honoree (Pro Football Focus 10/11).

 

Quote from Virginia Tech Head Coach Bud Foster:  
“Andrew Motuapuaka serves as a great representative for Virginia Tech football on and off the field. He’s been a starter for us since late in freshman season and is the signal caller for us as our middle linebacker. One of the highest honors any player on our ‘Lunch Pail Defense’ can attain is the honor of being the ‘keeper of the pail.’ The Virginia Tech lunch pail symbolizes the work ethic, persistence, and toughness required to uphold the standards that have been set by our defense over the years. Andrew has earned possession of the pail for several weeks this year and with good reason. He’s a smart, tough, and athletic football player. As a young man from a military household, I know being considered for the Defender of the Nation Award holds special significance for him and for all of us at Virginia Tech, where military service is part of the fabric of our great university.”

 

The recipient of the Defender of the Nation Award will be announced on November 1st from one of the Nation’s (9) military academies and institutions including Air Force Academy, The Citadel, Coast Guard Academy, Naval Academy, Norwich University, Texas A&M University, Virginia Tech, VMI and West Point and is based on exceptional leadership qualities on the field, in the classroom and in the community. The recipient must also exhibit a high standard of integrity by leading through example.

 

The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Awards Banquet presented by ACN, will be held on Monday, December 4th at the Charlotte Convention Center.  In addition to honoring the 2017 Defender of the Nation Award winner, the banquet will celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy sponsored by ACN and Legends Award sponsored by Florida East Coast Railway.  Notre Dame’s Ross Browner, a member of the FWAA’s 1976 All-America Team and a College Football Hall of Famer will be honored as the Legends Award winner and Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart is slated as the keynote speaker.

 

ABOUT THE CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB AND ITS PRESENTING SPONSORS
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.  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 corporate and individual support, more than $2,000,000 has been raised to benefit the club’s scholarship efforts.  For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918or jrocco@touchdownclub.com). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is www.touchdownclub.com.

 

THE INDEPENDENCE FUND
Moving Our Nation’s Wounded Heroes Towards Greater Independence! 
The Independence Fund’s mission is to support the Nation’s injured and wounded Veterans with the tools to achieve their independence and freedoms they have fought so hard to preserve!  It is a laser-focused non-profit organization that provides independence to severely wounded Veterans through mobility, wellness, and caregiver support.  Those who sacrifice for our country do so willingly with great pride and honor, and it is our privilege to serve them!

 

2016 DEFENDER OF THE NATION AWARD RECIPIENT: ANDREW KING
Andrew King, Cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point is the recipient of the inaugural Defender of the Nation Award.  A two-year starter at linebacker, King has served as Platoon Leader and Honor Officer and majors in Law and Legal Studies.  Jeff Monken, United States Military Academy Head Football Coach, commented, “Andrew is one of the finest young men I have been associated with during my coaching career.  He has the respect of everyone in the locker room as well as the Corps of Cadets for his character and his commitment to the United States Military Academy’s values of Duty, Honor, Country.  I am extremely proud of Andrew and what he has been able to accomplish at the Academy and he is truly one of America’s best.”

 

2017 DEFENDER OF THE NATION PLAYER PROFILES 

  • September 21: U.S. Naval Academy / D.J. Palmore
  • September 28: U.S. Air Force Academy / Grant Ross
  • October 6: Norwich University / Austin Roberts
  • October 12: Virginia Tech / Andrew Motuapuaka