CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FWAA) – Five finalists for
the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy – presented annually
to the nation’s top defensive player by the Football Writers
Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown
Club – were named on Wednesday.
alphabetical order, the finalists are: North Carolina State defensive
end Bradley Chubb, Alabama safety Minkah
Fitzpatrick, Iowa middle linebacker Josey Jewell,
Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver and Georgia
outside linebacker Roquan Smith.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy recipient will be chosen from these
five finalists. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input
from the association’s entire membership, selects the best defensive
player in college football.
The 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, winner of the 1976 Outland Trophy and a member
of the College Football Hall of Fame, is this year’s Legends Award
recipient. Georgia coach Kirby Smart will be the keynote speaker
at the banquet.
A rundown of the five 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalists:
Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State (6-4, 275, Sr., Marietta,
Ga.): Chubb leads the FBS in tackles for loss this season
for the Wolfpack (7-3). Of his 23.5 tackles for loss (for minus-98
yards), 10 have been sacks for 66 yards in losses. He has 62 total
tackles, nine quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles, two passes
broken up and a blocked kick. Chubb joins linebacker Levar Fisher
(2000) as the only Wolfpack players to earn a Nagurski finalist
Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama (6-1, 202, Jr., Old Bridge,
N.J.): The leader of the defensive backfield for the unbeaten
Crimson Tide (10-0), Fitzpatrick has made 44 total tackles, collected
5.5 tackles for 25 yards in losses, including 1.5 sacks for 15 yards
in losses. In addition, he has intercepted a pass, broken up six
passes, hurried the quarterback three times, forced a fumble and
blocked a kick. Alabama ranks eighth in the country in fewest passing
yards allowed per game (167 ypg). Fitzpatrick is the 11th Alabama
player to be a Nagurski finalist, including last year’s recipient
Jonathan Allen. The Crimson Tide has had a finalist now in each
of the last seven seasons.
Josey Jewell, MLB, Iowa (6-2, 236, Sr., Decorah, Iowa):
Jewell is fourth in the country in total tackles (104) for the Hawkeyes
(6-4). He has registered 9.5 tackles for 39 yards in losses (including
2.5 sacks for 24 yards in losses). He has chipped in an interception
(and returned it 33 yards) and added five passes broken up, three
quarterback hurries, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.
Jewell is the second Iowa player to be named a Nagurski finalist,
joining linebacker Pat Angerer in 2009.
Ed Oliver, DT, Houston (6-3, 290, So., Houston, Texas):
A second-team FWAA All-American in 2016, Oliver followed up his
freshman season with another fine year. He has 53 total tackles
for the Cougars (6-3). Of those, he has 10 tackles for 39 yards
in losses (with 2.5 sacks for 13 yards in losses), three passes
broken up, seven quarterback hurries, one fumble recovery, two forced
fumbles and one blocked kick. Oliver is the first Houston player
to earn a Nagurski finalist accolade.
Roquan Smith, OLB, Georgia (6-1, 225, Jr., Montezuma,
Ga.): The leading tackler for the Bulldogs (9-1), Smith
has made 82 total tackles this season. He has 4.5 tackles for loss,
including 2.5 sacks for 14 yards in losses. He also has broken up
two passes, hurried the quarterback 10 times and forced a fumble.
Georgia ranks fifth in the FBS in total defense, giving up just
277.5 yards per game. Smith is the fifth Georgia player to be named
a Nagurski finalist, joining 1998 recipient Champ Bailey and two-time
finalist David Pollack (2002, ‘04).
The FWAA has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since
1993. In 1995, the FWAA joined with the CTC and 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 24 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to
1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.
The Football Writers Association of America,
founded in 1941, consists of 1,300 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
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
The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is
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
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
All-time Bronko Nagurski
Trophy winners and finalists
|2017 FWAA ALL-AMERICA
|Bobby La Gesse
||Land of 10
||Phil Steele Publications