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Toledo’s Mitchell is Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week

DALLAS (FWAA) – Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell intercepted four NIU passes, returning two of them for touchdowns that led the Rockets (4-2) to a 52-32 road win in DeKalb, Ill. For the dynamic and game-changing takeaways, Mitchell earned the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games during the weekend of Oct. 8, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.

A 6-0, 200-pound sophomore from Williston, Fla., Mitchell had three interceptions by halftime, the first of which he scored with from 25 yards out to give Toledo at 14-0 lead. He took the second into the end zone as well, from 20 yards away three minutes before halftime. The third came in the final seconds before the half in Toledo’s end zone to thwart an NIU drive and preserve a 35-7 Toledo halftime advantage.

The last of Mitchell’s four picks came on NIU’s opening drive of the second half. In all, four of NIU’s first seven possessions ended with a Mitchell interception and the interceptions were the first of Mitchell’s career.

This is the second time for a Toledo player to earn the weekly Bronko Nagurski award and the first since free safety Tyrrell Herbert earned it the week of Oct. 14, 2008.

The four interceptions tied the Toledo record set back in 1950 — Jerry Palmer had four against Western Reserve – and marked the first time a Rocket had two pick-sixes in one game. Mitchell is the only FBS player since 2000 with four interceptions and two pick-sixes in a game. The NCAA record for single-game interceptions is five, held by four players, most recently Dan Rebsch of Miami (Ohio) vs. Western Michigan in 1972, which is the Mid-American Conference record.

The Rockets, now in sole possession of first place in the MAC West Division, host Kent State (2-4) at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPN-Plus.

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.com.