DALLAS (FWAA) — The 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List boasts 103 defensive standouts from all 10 Division I FBS conferences, including four returning players from last season’s Football Writers Association of America All-America team.

Christian Wilkins, a defensive tackle for defending national champion Clemson, and Florida State defensive back Tarvarus McFadden are the only 2016 FWAA first-teamers on the list. Two other 2016 second-teamers – Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver and Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser – are included along with NIU defensive back Shawun Lurry, a 2015 First-Team FWAA All-America player.

The Atlantic Coast Conference led all conferences with 20 players on the watch list, followed by the Big Ten (16), SEC (14), Pac-12 (13), Big 12 (11), American Athletic (10), Sun Belt (6), Mountain West (5), Independents (3), Mid-American (3) and Conference USA (2). The list includes 30 defensive backs, 29 linebackers, 25 defensive ends and 19 defensive tackles, all vying for the award representing college football’s best defensive player.

Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. As in previous seasons, the FWAA will announce a National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday throughout the season. If not already on the watch list, each week’s honored player will be added at that time. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Thurs., Nov. 16.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s full membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski Trophy finalists. Committee members, by individual ballot, select the winner they regard as the best defensive player in college football.

The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Mon., Dec. 4 at the Charlotte Convention Center. In addition to the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner’s announcement, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by the CTC and Florida East Coast Railway. Notre Dame’s Ross Browner, a member of the FWAA’s 1976 and 1977 All-America Teams, the 1976 Outland Trophy winner and a College Football Hall of Famer, will be honored. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.

DB Jaire Alexander, Louisville DE Harold Landry, Boston College
DB Marcus Allen, Penn State DE Justin Lawler, SMU
DE Dorance Armstrong Jr., Kansas DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
DB Dravon Askew-Henry, West Virginia DE Tyquan Lewis, Ohio State
LB Alex Aukerman, Army West Point DE James Looney, California
LB Genard Avery, Memphis DT Lowell Lotulelei, Utah
DT Drew Bailey, Louisville DB Shawun Lurry, NIU
LB Jerome Baker, Ohio State DB Iman Marshall, USC
DB Quin Blanding, Virginia DE Hercules Mata’afa, Washington State
LB Eric Boggs, Appalachian State DB Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State
DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State DB Quenton Meeks, Stanford
DB Blace Brown, Troy DT David Moa, Boise State
LB Jason Cabinda, Penn State LB Skai Moore, South Carolina
LB Steve Casali, Massachusetts LB Nyles Morgan, Notre Dame
DB Andre Chachere, San Jose State DB Deatrick Nichols, USF
DB Sean Chandler, Temple DT Derrick Nnadi, Florida State
DE Bradley Chubb, N.C. State DT Kendrick Norton, Miami
LB Jack Cichy, Wisconsin LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma
DE Aikeem Coleman, Idaho DT Ed Oliver, Houston
DB Duke Dawson, Florida DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
DB D’Cota Dixon, Wisconsin LB Shaquille Quarterman, Miami
LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech DB Taylor Rapp, Washington
DE Duke Ejiofor, Wake Forest DB Jeremy Reaves, South Alabama
LB Emmanuel Ellerbee, Rice DB D.J. Reed, Kansas State
LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama DE Malik Reed, Nevada
DB Rashard Fant, Indiana DT Steven Richardson, Minnesota
DT Folorunso Fatukasi, UConn DE Malcolm Roach, Texas
DE Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech DE Ja’Von Rolland-Jones, Arkansas State
DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama LB Auggie Sanchez, USF
DE Marcell Frazier, Missouri LB Tegray Scales, Indiana
DT Greg Gaines, Washington DT Deadrin Senat, USF
DE Rashan Gary, Michigan DE Conor Sheehy, Wisconsin
DT Will Geary, Kansas State DE K.J. Smith, Baylor
LB Ulysees Gilbert III, Akron LB Cameron Smith, USC
DT Rasheem Green, USC DE Josh Sweat, Florida State
LB Shaquem Griffin, UCF LB Jahlani Tavai, Hawaii
DB Chase Hansen, Utah DE Chad Thomas, Miami
DB Heath Harding, Miami (Ohio) LB Micah Thomas, Navy
DB Ronnie Harrison, Alabama DB Jordan Thomas, Oklahoma
DE Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss DT Trent Thompson, Georgia
LB James Hearns, Louisville DB Kevin Toliver, LSU
DT B.J. Hill, N.C. State DT Vita Vea, Washington
LB Travin Howard, TCU LB Azeem Victor, Washington
DE Sam Hubbard, Ohio State DE Reggie Walker, Kansas State
DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan DB Armani Watts, Texas A&M
DB Godwin Igwebuike, Northwestern DB Jordan Whitehead, Pitt
DB Derwin James, Florida State DE JoJo Wicker, Arizona State
LB Malik Jefferson, Texas DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson
LB Josey Jewell, Iowa DB Andrew Wingard, Wyoming
LB Jordan Jones, Kentucky DB Jaden Wright, New Mexico State
LB Arden Key, LSU DE Jabari Zuniga, Florida
LB Micah Kiser, Virginia
By conference: ACC 20, Big Ten 16, SEC 14, Pac-12 13, Big 12 11, American Athletic 10, Sun Belt 6, Mountain West 5, Independents 3, Mid-American 3, Conference USA 2.
By position: Backs 30, Linebackers 29, Ends 25, Tackles 19.
Players may be added or removed from the list before or during the season


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.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 23 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.

The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a two-week period this month. Sixteen of the association’s 23 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the complete 2017 preseason watch list calendar:

Mon., July 10: Bednarik Award/Maxwell Award
Tues., July 11: Mackey Award/Rimington Trophy
Wed., July 12: Lou Groza Award/Ray Guy Award
Thurs., July 13: Bronko Nagurski Trophy/Outland Trophy
Fri., July 14: Jim Thorpe Award
Mon., July 17: Butkus Award/Paul Hornung Award
Tues., July 18: Biletnikoff Award/Wuerffel Trophy
Wed., July 19: Davey O’Brien Award
Thurs., July 20: Doak Walker Award
Fri., July 21: Walter Camp Award

The Football Writers Association of America, founded in 1941, 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 tiger@fwaa.com.


The Charlotte 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 $2,000,000 to benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or jrocco@touchdownclub.mysites.io). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.mysites.io.

ACN, Inc.
Founded in 1993, ACN is the world’s largest direct seller of telecommunications, energy and essential services for residential and business customers. ACN provides the services people need and use every day including phone service, high-speed internet, wireless, television, security and automation, computer support, payment processing and natural gas and electricity. ACN operates in 25 countries with offices located throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific. For more information, visit myacn.com. For information on ACN’s home-based business opportunity, visit acninc.com.

Florida East Coast Railway
FECR is a regional freight railroad that extends along a 351-mile corridor between Jacksonville, Fla., and Miami, Fla., with exclusive rail access to the Port of Palm Beach, Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale) and the Port of Miami. For more information, visit fecrwy.com.

Electrolux is a global leader in appliances for household and professional use, selling more than 50 million products to customers in more than 150 countries every year. The company focuses on innovations that are thoughtfully designed, based on extensive consumer insight, to meet the real needs of consumers and professionals. Electrolux products include refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, cookers and air-conditioners sold under esteemed brands such as Electrolux, Frigidaire, Kelvinator, AEG, and Eureka. In 2012, Electrolux had sales of $17 billion ($5.1 billion in North America) and 58,000 employees. The Electrolux North American headquarters is located at 10200 David Taylor Drive, Charlotte, NC 28262 in the University Research Park. For more information visit http://newsroom.electrolux.com/us/.