Simmons and Thomas make Nagurski Watch List

CUTrevor 2019-07-23 19:53:54

DALLAS (FWAA) – The Football Writers Association of America released its2019 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List today, selecting 92 defensive standouts from 65 schools in all 10 Division I FBS conferences plus independents on a roster that includes four returning players from last season’s FWAA All-America team.
Grant Delpit, a junior safety from LSU, tops the list as the lone returning Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalist and FWAA first-team All-American from last season. Joining him on the list are three other returning 2018 FWAA second-team All-Americans in Virginia cornerback Bryce Hall, Michigan State defensive end Kenny Willekes, and Stanford cornerback Paulson Adebo.

Alabama leads the team count with four representatives – linebackers Anfernee Jennings and Dylan Moses, end Raekwon Davis and cornerback Trevon Diggs. In addition to Delpit, LSU boasts linebacker Jacob Phillips and cornerback Kristian Fulton on the list to tie Iowa State, Notre Dame and Penn State with three members each. There are 16 schools with two members on the list.

Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. As in previous years, the FWAA will announce a National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday this season. If not already on the watch list, each week’s honored player will be added at that time. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2019 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 20.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s full membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski Trophy finalists. Committee members, by individual ballot, select the winner they regard as the best defensive player in college football.

This year’s watch list includes at least four players from eight of the 10 FBS conferences. The SEC (18) and Big Ten (15) have the most members and combine to make up more than one-third of the 92-man list. The ACC and Pac-12 (12 each) and Big 12 (11) also have double-digit representation, followed by the American Athletic (6), Independents (5), Conference USA (4), Mountain West (4), Mid-American (3) and Sun Belt (2). The list includes 36 linebackers, 28 backs, 21 ends and seven tackles.

DB DeMarkus Acy, Missouri  
DB Paulson Adebo, Stanford  
DE Bradlee Anae, Utah  
LB Rayshard Ashby, Virginia Tech 
LB Joe Bachie, Michigan State 
DE JaQuan Bailey, Iowa State 
LB Markus Bailey, Purdue  
DB Essang Bassey, Wake Forest 
LB Shaun Bradley, Temple  
DB Antoine Brooks Jr., Maryland 
LB Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech 
DT Derrick Brown, Auburn  
DB Myles Bryant, Washington  
DB Andre Cisco, Syracuse  
DE Nick Coe, Auburn  
LB Carter Coughlin, Minnesota  
DB Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State 
DE Raekwon Davis, Alabama  
DB Grant Delpit, LSU  
DB Trevon Diggs, Alabama  
DE Victor Dimukeje, Duke  
LB Troy Dye, Oregon  
LB Cooper Edmiston, Tulsa  
DE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa  
LB Jordan Fehr, Appalachian State 
LB Paddy Fisher, Northwestern  
DB Jordan Fuller, Ohio State 
DB Kristian Fulton, LSU  
LB Lawrence Garner, Old Dominion 
LB Cale Garrett, Missouri  
DE Jonathan Garvin, Miami  
DE Joe Gaziano, Northwestern  
DB Alohi Gilman, Notre Dame 
DB Jeff Gladney, TCU  
DB Richie Grant, UCF  
DB A.J. Green, Oklahoma State 
DE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State 
DB Javon Hagan, Ohio  
DB Bryce Hall, Virginia  
LB Ky’el Hemby, Southern Miss 
DB CJ Henderson, Florida  
DB Lavert Hill, Michigan  
DE Wyatt Hubert, Kansas State 
LB Bryce Huff, Memphis  
LB Anfernee Jennings, Alabama  
DB Jaylon Johnson, Utah  
DE Mustafa Johnson, Colorado  
DE Patrick Johnson, Tulane  
LB Clay Johnston, Baylor  
DB Brandon Jones, Texas  
LB Antonio Jones-Davis, NIU  
DE Khalid Kareem, Notre Dame 
LB Nate Landman, Colorado  
LB Sage Lewis, FIU  
DT Ray Lima, Iowa State 
LB Bryan London II, Texas State
LB Jordan Mack, Virginia  
DT Justin Madubuke, Texas A&M 
DB Kevin McGill, Eastern Michigan 
DB Josh Metellus, Michigan  
LB Dylan Moses, Alabama  
LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma  
DE Julian Okwara, Notre Dame 
LB Micah Parsons, Penn State 
LB Jacob Phillips, LSU  
LB Shaquille Quarterman, Miami  
DB J.R. Reed, Georgia  
DB Elijah Riley, Army  
DB Amik Robertson, Louisiana Tech 
LB Merlin Robertson, Arizona State 
DE Alton Robinson, Syracuse  
LB Colin Schooler, Arizona  
DT Jordon Scott, Oregon  
LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson  
LB Marcel Spears, Iowa State 
DB Caden Sterns, Texas  
LB Darrell Taylor, Tennessee  
LB Kyahva Tezino, San Diego State
DE Xavier Thomas, Clemson  
LB Erroll Thompson, Mississippi State 
DT Khyiris Tonga, BYU  
DE Jay Tufele, USC  
LB Mykal Walker, Fresno State 
DE Curtis Weaver, Boise State 
LB Evan Weaver, California  
DB James Wiggins, Cincinnati  
DE Kenny Willekes, Michigan State 
DT Marvin Wilson, Florida State 
DT Robert Windsor, Penn State 
LB David Woodward, Utah State
DE Chase Young, Ohio State
DE Jabari Zuniga, Florida

By conference: SEC 18, Big Ten 15, ACC 12, Pac-12 12, Big 12 11, American Athletic 6, Independents 5, Conference USA 4, Mountain West 4, Mid-American 3, Sun Belt 2.

By position: Linebackers 36, Backs 28, Ends 21, Tackles 7.

Players may be added or removed from the list before or during the season

The 25th Annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet will be held on Dec. 9 at the Charlotte Convention Center. In addition to the 2019 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner’s announcement, the banquet will also celebrate former UCLA All-American Jerry Robinson, the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day is the keynote speaker.

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. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit to learn more about the NCFAA.

The members of the NCFAA have been unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 10-day period this month. Sixteen of the association’s 25 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the remaining 2019 preseason watch list calendar:

Tues., July 23: Bronko Nagurski Trophy/Outland Trophy presented by NFID
Wed., July 24: Lou Groza Award/Ray Guy Award
Thurs., July 25: Paul Hornung Award/Wuerffel Trophy
Fri., July 26: Walter Camp Award

About the Football Writers Association of America
Founded in 1941, the non-profit Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) consists of more than 1,300 members, including journalists, broadcasters, publicists and key executives in all areas of college football. Led by current President Matt Fortuna of The Athletic, longtime Executive Director Steve Richardson, and a board of veteran journalists, the association continues to grow and work to help college football prosper at all levels. Visit for more information about the FWAA and its award programs.

About the Charlotte Touchdown Club
The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1991 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 1991, 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