DALLAS (FWAA) – West Virginia defensive end Jared Bartlett had three sacks to help the Mountaineers make an early-season statement with a 27-21 home win over regional rival and No. 15 Virginia Tech in Morgantown. For his presence in the Hokies’ backfield with WVU’s highest single-game sack total in almost two seasons – plus forcing and recovering a fumble – Bartlett has earned the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Sept. 18, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.
Bartlett’s three sacks were a career high for the 6-2, 225-pound redshirt sophomore from Miami, Fla., and were half of WVU’s six total sacks. All three came on consecutive Virginia Tech drives spanning the third and fourth quarter with West Virginia holding on to a 27-14 lead and were the most by a WVU player since 2020 FWAA Second Team All-American Darius Stills had three at Baylor on Oct. 31, 2019.This is the first time for a West Virginia player to earn this weekly honor since the 2015 season. The Mountaineers have two Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalists in their history, linebackers Grant Wiley (2003) and Canute Curtis (1996). Bartlett will be added to this season’s Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list.
He also tied his career high with five total tackles as WVU made three red-zone stops to hold off the Hokies. His season total of 3.0 sacks and 19 yards lost now leads the Mountaineers and his 3.5 TFL’s are tied for the team lead and tied for fifth in the Big 12. WVU is fourth nationally in TFL’s with an 10.3 per game. Bartlett has 7.0 tackles in three games as a reserve at the ‘Bandit’ defensive end.
Bartlett forced and recovered a fumble as West Virginia held the Hokies to 103 rushing yards. He has appeared in 16 total games over three seasons, starting twice in 2020 as a redshirt freshman and tying for the team lead with 3.5 sacks and sixth in TFL’s with 5.5.
West Virginia travels to Oklahoma for a primetime showcase Saturday against the No. 4 Sooners at 6:30 p.m. ET on ABC.
Each Tuesday 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 three finalists for the 2021 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 17. The national defensive player of the year will be chosen from those finalists who are part of the 2021 FWAA All-America Team and presented with the trophy at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet presented by LendingTree on Dec. 6 at the Charlotte Convention Center
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 and donated nearly $3 million to benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or email@example.com). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.mysites.io.
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2021 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
• Weekend of Sept. 4: Jordan Davis, DE, Georgia
• Weekend of Sept. 11: Verone McKinley III, S, Oregon
• Weekend of Sept. 18: Jared Bartlett, DE, West Virginia
• Bronko Nagurski Trophy (All-Time Winners, Finalists and Players of the Week)
• Download the Bronko Nagurski Trophy presented by LendingTree logo: Primary (.jpg) | Primary (.eps)
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