Michigan State’s Windmon is Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week

DALLAS (FWAA)Jacoby Windmon turned last Saturday’s game in Michigan State’s favor twice last Saturday, the second time in overtime in forcing a Wisconsin fumble that the Spartans recovered and later scored to take an important 34-28 Big Ten win in East Lansing. Windmon forced both Badgers turnovers with an earlier interception to go with his season-best 11 tackles to earn the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games during the weekend of Oct. 15, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.

In his first start at linebacker – the previous six came at defensive end – the 6-2, 250-pound senior from New Orleans, La., also posted two tackles for loss. The first-quarter interception was the first of his career and led to Michigan State’s first touchdown. He is the first MSU player to record double-digit tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in the same game since Joe Bachie in 2017 at Michigan.

This is the third time for a Michigan State player to earn the weekly Bronko Nagurski award and the first since safety RJ Williamson earned it the week of Sept. 19, 2015. Shilique Calhoun earned it as well in 2013. The Spartans also boast cornerback Darqueze Dennard as a Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalist in that 2013 season.

Windmon, who has been the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Week three times this season including in back-to-back weeks for games Sept. 3 (Western Michigan) and Sept. 10 (Akron), leads the conference with 10.5 tackles for loss and is second in the conference with 5.5 sacks. He leads the FBS with six forced fumbles – three more than any other FBS player through seven games. His 10.5 TFLs are tied for eighth in the FBS and his 5.5 sacks are tied for 18th.

Overall, Windmon is sixth on the team with 37 tackles to go along with two pass break-ups, an interception and a fumble recovery. The six forced fumbles are already tied for second-most in a school season. He is the first Spartan defensive player to win the conference’s weekly honor three times in a single season and only the sixth Big Ten player to earn as many.

Windmon transferred to Michigan State from UNLV in time for spring practice after earning All-Mountain West Conference honors twice as a second-team choice in 2021 and honorable mention in 2020. He had 169 career tackles in three seasons at UNLV (2019-21), adding 18.5 TFLs, 12.0 sacks, four pass break-ups and three forced fumbles, starting in the final 18 of his 30 career games for the Rebels.

Michigan State is idle this week. The Spartans’ next game is in prime time at Michigan on Oct. 29 with a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff on ABC.

Each week 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 finalists for the 2022 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 16. The national defensive player of the year will be chosen from those finalists who are part of the 2022 FWAA All-America Team and presented with the trophy at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet on Dec. 5 at the Charlotte Convention Center. N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren will be the keynote speaker.

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 tiger@fwaa.com.

About the Charlotte Touchdown Club
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, nearly $3,000,000 has been raised and donated to benefit the Touchdown Club’s scholarship efforts. For more information call 704-347-2918 or touchdownclub.mysites.io.