DALLAS (FWAA) Middle Tennessee safety
Reed Blankenship made a career-high 17 tackles
and had a sack and three tackles for loss in the Blue Raiders' 51-17
win at Old Dominion. He also returned an interception 100 yards
for a touchdown just before halftime, and for his performance, Blankenship
has earned the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player
of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Oct. 27,
as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.
Blankenship had nine solo tackles among his
17 stops, but it was his interception that punctuated a career-best
day for the sophomore from Athens, Ala. MTSU led 24-10 toward the
end of the second quarter but with ODU threatening inside the Blue
Raiders 10-yard line. On the final play of the half, Blankenship
tipped an ODU pass into the end zone and was able to haul in the
loose ball at the goal line. He broke to the right sideline, made
two players miss on tackles and cut inside to run the last 70 yards untouched. Instead of perhaps only a 24-17 halftime lead,
MTSU went into the locker room up 31-10.
The interception was the first for Blankenship this season and
the third of his career. MTSUs five takeaways led to
20 points, including another pick-six in the fourth quarter. The
100-yard return equaled the longest in MTSU history, the other coming
Each Tuesday during the regular season, the FWAA has selected
a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001.
Blankenship will be added to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List.
The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists
for the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Wed., Nov. 14. The winner
will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2018
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. 3 at the Charlotte Convention Center.
In addition to the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner's announcement,
the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski
Legends Award, sponsored by the Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery.
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
About the Football Writers Association of America:
Founded in 1941, the FWAA 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 at email@example.com.
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 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,
About Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery
Richard R. Rolle Jr. is a leading oral & maxillofacial surgeon,
with strong ties to athletics and delivering excellence www.rolleoralfacialsurgery.com.
Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery offers expertise in: dental implants,
wisdom tooth extraction, youth-capturing, cosmetic injectables,
oral surgery and cleft lip reconstruction in his Lake Norman, North
Carolina practice. Dr. Rolle holds a B.A. from the University of
Notre Dame where he played varsity football under legendary Coach
Lou Holtz. He completed his oral surgery internship at Harvard's
Massachusetts General Hospital and holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery
from Meharry Medical College. Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery is
the official surgeon for the Charlotte Hornets, Charlotte Checkers
and Charlotte 49ers.
2018 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
Weekend of Sept. 1: Tyler Horton, Boise State
Weekend of Sept. 8: Nate Landman, Colorado
Weekend of Sept. 15: Alvin Davis Jr., Akron
Weekend of Sept. 22: Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington
Weekend of Sept. 29: Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
Weekend of Oct. 6: Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
Weekend of Oct. 13: Keisean Lucier-South, UCLA
Weekend of Oct. 20: Austin Robinson, Houston
Weekend of Oct. 27: Reed Blankenship, Middle Tennessee
Weekend of Nov. 3: Quinnen Williams, Alabama
Bronko Nagurski Trophy (All-Time Winners, Finalists and Players of the Week)