2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Preseason Watch List and Projections

Since 1993, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy has been awarded annually to the best defensive college football player in the nation. The award is based on votes by select members of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) who presents the award along with the Charlotte Touchdown Club. College football players will be added and removed from the list until the FWAA determines the top-five finalists. The FWAA also selects the 26-man All-American Team.

2017 Bronko Nagurski Preseason Watch List

PlayerPositionSchool
Jaire AlexanderDBLouisville
Marcus AllenDBPenn State
Dorance Armstrong Jr.DEKansas
Dravon Askew-HenryDBWest Virginia
Alex AukermanLBArmy
Genard AveryLBMemphis
Drew BaileyDTLouisville
Jerome BakerLBOhio State
Quin BlandingDBVirginia
Eric BoggsLBAppalachian State
Nick BosaDEOhio State
Blace BrownDBTroy
Jason CabindaLBPenn State
Steve CasaliLBUmass
Andre ChachereDBSan Jose State
Sean ChandlerDBTemple
Bradley ChubbDENorth Carolina State
Jack CichyLBWisconsin
Aikeem ColemanDEIdaho
Duke DawsonDBFlorida
D’Cota DixonDBWisconsin
Tremaine EdmundsLBVirginia Tech
Duke EjioforDEWake Forest
Emmanuel EllerbeeLBRice
Rashaan EvansLBAlabama
Rashard FantDBIndiana
Folorunso FatukasiDTUconn
Jaylon FergusonDELouisiana Tech
Minkah FitzpatrickDBAlabama
Marcell FrazierDEMissouri
Greg GainesDTWashington
Rashan GaryDEMichigan
Will GearyDTKansas State
Ulysees Gilbert IIILBAkron
Rasheem GreenDTUSC
Shaquem GriffinLBUCF
Chase HansenDBUtah
Heath HardingDBMiami (Ohio)
Ronnie HarrisonDBAlabama
Marquis HaynesDEOle Miss
James HearnsLBLouisville
B.J. HillDTNorth Carolina State
Travin HowardLBTCU
Sam HubbardDEOhio State
Malik JeffersonLBTexas
Josey JewellLBIowa
Jordan JonesLBKentucky
Arden KeyLBLSU
Micah KiserLBVirginia
Harold LandryDEBoston College
Justin LawlerDESMU
Dexter LawrenceDTClemson
Tyquan LewisDEOhio State
James LoneyDECalifornia
Lowell LotufeleiDTUtah
Shawun LurryDBNorthern Illinois
Iman MarshallDBUSC
Hercules Mata’afaDEWashington State
Tarvarus McFaddenDBFlorida State
Quenton MeeksDBStanford
David MoaDTBoise State
Skai MooreLBSouth Carolina
Nyles MorganLBNotre Dame
Deatrick NicholsDBSouth Florida
Derrick NnadiDTFlorida State
Kendrick NortonDTMiami
Ogbonnia OkoronkwoLBOklahoma
Ed OliverDTHouston
Da’Ron PayneDTAlabama
Shaquille QuartermanLBMiami
Taylor RappDBWashington
Jeremy ReavesDBSouth Alabama
D.J. ReedDBKansas State
Malik ReedDENevada
Steven RichardsonDTMinnesota
Malcolm RoachDETexas
Ja’Von Rolland-JonesDEArkansas State
Auggie SanchezLBSouth Florida
Tegray ScalesLBIndiana
Deadrin SenatDTSouth Florida
Conor SheehyDEWisconsin
K.J. SmithDEBaylor
Cameron SmithLBUSC
Josh SweatDEFlorida State
Jahlani TavaiLBHawaii
Chad ThomasDEMiami
Micah ThomasLBNavy
Jordan ThomasDBOklahoma
Trent ThompsonDTGeorgia
Kevin ToliverDBLSU
Vita VeaDTWashington
Azeem VictorLBWashington
Reggie WalkerDEKansas State
Christian WilkinsDTClemson
Andrew WingardDBWyoming
Jaden WrightDBNew Mexico State
Jabari ZunigaDEFlorida

Northwestern linebacker Pat Fitzgerald is the only player to win the Bronko Nagurski Trophy twice. There’s a lot of new prospects on this year’s watch list as only four players on the list were All-Americans last season. Florida State defensive back Tarvarus McFadden and Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins were first-team All-Americans. Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser and Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver were FWAA second-team All-Americans last season. NIU defensive back Shawun Lurry was a first-team All-American in 2015. All seven FBS conferences and Independent schools are represented to the watch list. Here’s a breakdown of which conferences had the most players selected to the year’s Bronko Nagurski Preseason Watch List.

Conference# of Players
ACC20
Big Ten16
SEC14
Pac-1213
Big 1211
American Athletic10
Sun Belt6
Mountain West5
Independents3
Mid-American3
Conference USA2

Tarvarus McFadden looks to be a solid front runner to win the Bronko Nagurski Trophy. Last season, McFadden tied for first in the NCAA with 8 interceptions. One player to keep an eye on is Boston College defensive end Harold Landry. Landry led all of college football last season with 16.5 total sacks and 15 sacks were solo. Landry hasn’t received a lot of hype, but he definitely will be on the short list if he can put up similar numbers for the 2017 college football season. Here’s our projected short list of which five college football players that will be in contention for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy come December.

Tarvarus McFadden FSU
McFadden is a nightmare for any quarterback in college football.
  1. Harold Landry
  2. Tarvarus McFadden
  3. Tegray Scales
  4. Christian Wilkins
  5. Minkah Fitzpatrick

 


The Bronko Nagurski Trophy will be awarded on Dec. 4 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, NC. Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart will be the keynote speaker. Along with awarding this season’s best college football player, the event will also award former Notre Dame defensive end Ross Browner the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Legends Award. Browner was a two-time All-American, 1976 Outland Trophy winner, and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.


 

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