Football Writers Association of America Oct. 20, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson
Former walk-on linebacker leads Hogs to upset of Ole Miss
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DALLAS (FWAA) – Arkansas linebacker Grant Morgan notched 19 tackles with three for losses to go with a pick-six return as the Razorbacks evened their record at 2-2 with a 33-21 win over Ole Miss. Morgan's interception clinched the win and helped earn him the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games in the weekend of Oct. 17, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.


Morgan, a 5-11, 222-pound senior from Greenwood, Ark., is the second Arkansas player this season to earn the National Defensive Player of the Week Award following fellow linebacker Bumper Pool from the Oct. 3 weekend. Morgan's 19 tackles are second only to Pool's 20 (vs. Mississippi State) among the single-game highs for total tackles in the FBS this season. Morgan is only the sixth Razorbacks player to be so recognized – the previous one to Pool was in 2010.

A former walk-on in 2017, Morgan is now the nation’s top tackler averaging 13.0 per game and his 52 total stops are only one behind the national leader. Arkansas reported him to be only player in the FBS since 2000 to have at least 15 tackles in a game with 3.0 tackles for loss, two passes defended and an interception return for a touchdown. The pick-six came with three minutes left with the Hogs holding a 26-21 lead, essentially clinching the game, and was a part of Arkansas' six interceptions in the game, another FBS-high this season.

Morgan earned his first start in the 2020 opener against No. 4 Georgia and proceeded to make 10 tackles in the first half and 13 in the game. Morgan set his previous career-high of 15 tackles against Mississippi State this season and has played in every game since his freshman 2017 season. He was placed on scholarship in Aug. 2018 and has been a two-year member of the Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2018 and 2019.

The 3.0 TFL's and the two PBU's were also career highs.

Arkansas, idle this week, has three of the country's top four tacklers by average. Behind Morgan’s 13.0 per game are Pool (tied for 2nd, 12.0) and freshman safety Jalen Catalon (tied for 4th, 11.25).

Morgan will be added to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. Arkansas has never had 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 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)
• Download the Bronko Nagurski Trophy presented by LendingTree logo: Primary (.jpg) | Primary (.eps)