DALLAS, Texas –– The University of Tulsa defensive standout Jaxon Player was named to the watch list for the 2021 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List, as announced by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
A total of 90 of college football’s top defensive players were named to preseason list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is presented to the nation’s top defender. Tulsa’s Zaven Collins, now with the Arizona Cardinals, was the 2020 winner of the Nagurski Trophy
A 6’0″ senior defensive lineman from Waco, Texas, Player was a first-team American Athletic Conference selection last season. In nine games, Player registered 37 tackles, 9.5 TFLs for -26 yards, three sacks for -6 yards, five QB hurries and two blocked kicks.
He tallied a career-best 12 tackles and 4.5 stops for -12 yards at Navy, while earning the AAC Defensive Player of the Week award for his performance.
Player has played in 28 career games and has 17 starts, while totaling 83 career tackles, 17 TFLs for -39 yards, three sacks for -6 yards, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery from his interior defensive front position. Player has also blocked four kicks in his career, including three field goals and one PAT.
Player has also been named this year to the preseason list for college football’s other defensive player of the year award, the Chuck Bednarik Award.
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.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football.
COURTESY TULSA ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS