DALLAS (FWAA) – Minkah Fitzpatrick
lived up to his billing as one of the nation's most versatile
defenders in top-ranked Alabama's 27-19 win at Texas A&M. Lining
up at four defensive positions in the secondary and linebacker,
plus playing on special teams, Fitzpatrick totaled five tackles,
two for loss, and grabbed a key interception with his back to
the end zone and forced a fumble. His performance helped the
Crimson Tide stay undefeated and earned him the
FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week
honor for the week of Oct. 7.
Fitzpatrick, a 6-1, 202-pound junior from Old Bridge, N.J.,
lined up at his usual strong safety position, but also played
cornerback, nickel corner and the Crimson Tide's money (dime
linebacker) position against Texas A&M. His interception
thwarted a Texas A&M drive at the Alabama one-yard line, and he
spearheaded an Alabama defense that held Texas A&M to 19 points
– their season low – and 143 yards below their season average.
His forced fumble came while playing on kickoff coverage, and he
recovered an onside kick to seal the win.
For the season, Fitzpatrick is tied for third on the team in
total tackles with 28, 17 of them solo, and he leads the Crimson
Tide in tackles for loss with 4.5 that includes 21 yards lost.
He has four pass breakups, tops on the team, and the
Fitzpatrick's play embellishes his credentials as a Bronko
Nagurski Trophy candidate from its preseason watch list. The
junior was a previous Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player
of the Week winner in 2015, when as a freshman he became the
only player in Alabama history (in records they have back to
1948) to return two interceptions for touchdowns in the same
game, which also came at Texas A&M.
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 five finalists
for the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Wed., Nov. 15. The winner
will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2017
FWAA All-America Team.
The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association's
entire membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually
the Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalists. The committee members then
select the winner 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.
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 the most prestigious
awards in college football. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about
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
ABOUT THE CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB AND ITS SPONSORS
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 firstname.lastname@example.org).
The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.com.
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,
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
2017 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
• Weekend of Sept. 2: Jordan Wyatt, SMU
• Weekend of Sept. 9: Austin Bryant, Clemson
• Weekend of Sept. 16: Kameron Kelly, San Diego State
• Weekend of Sept. 23: Josey Jewell, Iowa
• Weekend of Sept. 30: Dorian O'Daniel, Clemson
• Weekend of Oct. 7: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
• Bronko Nagurski Trophy (All-Time Winners, Finalists and Players of the Week)