Football Writers Association of America Oct. 6, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson
Junior linebacker has 20 tackles in upset of Mississippi State
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DALLAS (FWAA) Arkansas linebacker Bumper Pool notched a career-best 20 tackles last week as the Razorbacks spoiled No. 16 Mississippi State's home opener with a 21-14 win. Pool's 20 stops are the single-game high in the FBS this season and earned him the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games in the weekend of Oct. 3, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.


Pool, a 6-2, 229-pound junior from Lucas, Texas, is the first Arkansas player since 2010 to earn the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week and the fifth Hogs player to be recognized. Pool became one of only nine SEC players in the last 10 years to register 20 or more tackles in a game and the first in a conference game since 2015.

The big game pushed Pool into the national lead in tackles per game at 15.5 and his 31 total tackles (12 solo) are tied for ninth. The last time an Arkansas player had 20 or more tackles in a game came in 2010 (Jerry Franklin's 20, also vs. Mississippi State).

According to College Football Reference, he is one of only 19 players in the FBS since 2005 to post 20 or more tackles in a road win. He also had two pass breakups.

Incidentally, fellow Hogs inside linebacker Grant Morgan is second nationally at 14.0 tackles per game. Pool and Morgan were part of a defense that held Mississippi State to 87 rushing yards, the Bulldogs' lowest output at home since 2015 against Alabama. Pool and safety Joe Foucha were the SEC's Co-Defensive Players of the Week, the first Razorbacks to receive the conference's weekly defensive honors since 2014.

Pool will be added to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. Arkansas has never had a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.

The win was Arkansas' first against a ranked opponent since 2016 and ended a 20-game SEC losing streak. The Hogs play at No. 13 Auburn at 3 p.m. CT Saturday on the SEC Network.

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 three finalists for the 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy later this season. The national defensive player of the year will be chosen from those 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)
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