CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FWAA) – Five finalists
for the 2019 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: Auburn defensive tackle
Brown, Georgia safety J.R. Reed, Clemson linebacker
Minnesota defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. and Ohio State defensive
end Chase Young.
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.
Here is more information on the 2019 finalists, listed in alphabetical
Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn (6-5, 318, Sr., Sugar Hill,
Ga.): Brown is the rare playmaker tucked in the middle
of Auburn's line. Consistently double-teamed, Brown has still produced
43 tackles that are fourth on the Tigers' defense along with 9.0
tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks, both second on the team. The team
captain's best games have come in November, with seven tackles each
against 2nd-ranked LSU and Ole Miss and most recently six against
5th-ranked Georgia. The Ole Miss game was one of three times he
earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week. Brown has 157
career tackles, 30.0 TFL's and 13.0 sacks, and is the third Auburn
player to be a finalist following defensive tackle Nick Fairley
(2010) and cornerback Carlos Rogers (2004).
J.R. Reed, S, Georgia (6-1, 194, Gr., Frisco, Texas):
Reed has been a constant in the Bulldogs' secondary with 39 consecutive
starts at safety. He is third on the team with 43 tackles and has
2.0 tackles for loss along with a half-sack and has caused and recovered
one fumble. He already has his degree in Communications Studies.
More than half (23) of his tackles have been solo stops; in last
week's win over Auburn he had five tackles, his second-highest total
of the season, all of them solo. Thanks in part to the contributions
above as well as one interception, Reed has led Georgia to be the
SEC's top defense in scoring (10.5 points per game, No. 2 nationally),
rushing defense (75.5 ypg, No. 3 nationally) and total defense (267.2
ypg, No. 6 nationally). Reed is Georgia's seventh finalist and second
in three seasons (linebacker Roquan Smith in 2017). Champ Bailey,
a defensive back, won Georgia's only previous Bronko Nagurski Trophy
Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson (6-4, 230, Jr., Olathe, Kan.):
One of the nation's top linebackers and Clemson's most prolific
tacklers (74 on the season), Simmons leads the Tigers in sacks (6.0)
and tackles for loss (12.0) with five pass breakups, an interception,
a forced fumble and one recovery. To date Simmons is one of only
five FBS players credited with at least 65 tackles, 11.5 TFL's and
6.0 sacks this season. He has had five games of eight tackles or
more. No one has been on the field at Clemson more than Simmons; his 536 snaps played is 69 more (13 percent) than fellow linebacker
James Skalski. Simmons is Clemson's fourth finalist of the last
five seasons and its sixth overall. Defensive end Da'Quan Bowers
won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy in 2010.
Antoine Winfield Jr., DB, Minnesota (5-10, 205, So.,
The Woodlands, Texas): Winfield has led the Golden Gophers'
secondary to become one of the country's best. He leads Minnesota
in total tackles (65, 47 solos) and has already tied the school
record with seven interceptions that are second nationally and half
of a team total 14 that is tied for third nationally and for the
Big Ten lead. He is a fourth-year sophomore after receiving a waiver
for a sixth year of eligibility upon losing the final eight games
of the 2017 and '18 seasons due to injury. He has a pick-six
and two sacks this year. Winfield is Minnesota's second all-time
finalist following defensive back Tyrone Carter in 1999.
Chase Young, DE, Ohio State (6-5, 265, Jr., Upper Marlboro,
Md.): The country's second-leading sack master (13.5) leads
a Buckeye defense that gives up only 216.4 yards per game and is
22 yards, or 10 percent, better than the No. 2 team (Clemson, 238.2).
The team captain has 15 tackles for loss that are tied for seventh
nationally and his 29 total tackles are fifth at Ohio State. He
was the Trophy's National Player of the Week following the weekend
of Oct. 26 after he tied career highs with four sacks and five tackles
for loss in Ohio State's 38-7 win over Wisconsin. His combined 193 yards lost on sacks and TFL's is second
in the nation. Young is Ohio State's first finalist since 2007 and
its fourth overall. Linebacker James Laurinaitis won the Bronko
Nagurski Trophy in 2006.
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 will be held on Mon.,
Dec. 9 at the Charlotte Convention Center. This year's keynote
speaker is Ohio State head coach Ryan Day. In addition to the 2019
Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner's announcement, the banquet will also
celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award,
former UCLA linebacker Jerry Robinson. The
2019 Bronko Nagurski Trophy and awards banquet are presented by
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 email@example.com).
The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.com.
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All-time Bronko Nagurski
Trophy winners and finalists