Football Writers Association of America Sept. 9, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson
Senior linebacker leads dominant effort at Navy
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DALLAS (FWAA) – BYU linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi registered two sacks and five tackles as the Cougars went into Annapolis and dominated Navy in a 55-3 season-opening win. For his career-high sack total, Kaufusi earned the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games in the weekend of Sept. 5, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.


Kaufusi, a 6-2, 220-pound senior from Cottonwood Heights, Utah, is only the second BYU player to earn the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor and the first since 2015 (Kai Nacua, Week 2). Kaufusi also forced a fumble in helping the Cougars hold Navy to 149 yards of total offense. BYU’s 31-0 halftime lead was the largest in a season opener since 1977 (led Kansas State 32-0); the Cougars only had one halftime shutout (UMass) last season. Navy never reached the red zone, as BYU held it to 2-of-11 on third-down conversions.

Kaufusi will be added to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List, where he joins BYU defensive tackle Khyiris Tonga, already a member of the preseason list. No BYU player has ever been a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.

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 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy later this season. The national defensive player of the year will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2020 FWAA All-America Team.

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 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

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 more than $2 million 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

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2020 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
• Weekend of Sept. 5: Isaiah Kaufusi, LB, BYU
• Weekend of Sept. 12: Curtis Ryans, DE, Georgia Tech
• Weekend of Sept. 19: Tavante Beckett, LB, Marshall
• Weekend of Sept. 26: Jahron McPherson, S, Kansas State
• Weekend of Oct. 3: Bumper Pool, LB, Arkansas
• Weekend of Oct. 10: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
• Weekend of Oct. 17: Grant Morgan, LB, Arkansas
• Weekend of Oct. 24: Nick Andersen, S, Wake Forest
• Weekend of Oct. 31: Joseph Ossai, DE/LB, Texas
• Weekend of Nov. 7: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
• Weekend of Nov. 14: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
• Weekend of Nov. 21: Blake Gallagher, LB, Northwestern
• Weekend of Nov. 28: Nate Landman, LB, Colorado

Related links:
• 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)