Virginia Tech’s Ashby, Farley, UVA’s Snowden named to Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List

Bronko NagurskiThe Football Writers Association of America, in conjunction with the Charlotte Touchdown Club, released its preseason watch list for the  2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy presented by LendingTree today.

The list includes 98 defensive standouts from 66 schools in all 10 Division I FBS conferences plus independents on a roster that includes five returning players from last season’s FWAA All-America team and one from 2018.

Two of the nation’s returning sack leaders, Miami defensive end Gregory Rousseau and Oregon State linebacker Hamilcar Rashed Jr., headline the list from among the six returning FWAA All-America selections: LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., who tied for fifth in the nation with six interceptions last season, Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, Pitt defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman and Stanford cornerback Paulson Adebo, who was on the second team in 2018.

Seven schools are tied with three representatives each, including Pitt, which in addition to Twyman has defensive end Patrick Jones and safety Paris Ford to lead the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 17 players that top the conference totals and hail from 11 of its 14 schools. Defending national champion LSU has defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin and safety JaCoby Stevens in its trio alongside Stingley Jr., and Alabama and Georgia also have three players as part of the Southeastern Conference’s crew of 15. Oregon, USC and Washington also have trios on the list from among the Pac-12’s 13 players that also includes Washington State’s Jahad Woods, fourth in the nation in tackles last season with 141.

There are 18 schools with teammates on the list and 15 players return from last season’s watch list. National runner-up Clemson has defensive tackle Tyler Davis and linebacker James Skalski listed. Penn State has defensive end Shaka Toney in addition to its All-American Parsons, and Miami adds Quincy Roche, a transfer from Temple, to its pairing with All-American Rousseau. Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade and Oklahoma defensive end Ronnie Perkins made the list from last year’s other College Football Playoff teams. Western Michigan linebacker Treshaun Hawyard, the nation’s top returning tackle leader (142), is one of the Mid-American Conference’s five members.

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 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy.

The winner of the 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy presented by LendingTree as the National Defensive Player of the Year 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 all 10 FBS conferences plus three from the independents. The ACC led the conference list with 17 with the SEC (15) just behind, making up almost one-third of the list. The Pac-12 (13), Big 12 (12) and Big Ten (10) also have double-digit representation, followed by Conference USA (7), the American Athletic (6), Sun Belt (6), Mid-American (5), Mountain West (4) and Independents (3). The list includes 31 linebackers, 28 backs, 23 ends and 16 tackles.

2020 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST (98)

DB Paulson Adebo, Stanford
LB Blaze Alldredge, Rice
LB Rayshard Ashby, Virginia Tech
DE JaQuan Bailey, Iowa State
DE Carlos Basham, Wake Forest
LB Tavante Beckett, Marshall
LB Terrel Bernard, Baylor
DB Reed Blakenship, Middle Tennessee
LB Nick Bolton, Missouri
LB K.J. Britt, Auburn
LB Troy Brown, Central Michigan
DE Big Kat Bryant, Auburn
DB Eric Burrell, Wisconsin
DB Andre Cisco, Syracuse
DT Tyler Davis, Clemson
DE Victor Dimukeje, Duke
DB Greg Eisworth, Iowa State
LB Diego Fagot, Navy
DB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
LB Paddy Fisher, Northwestern
DB Paris Ford, Pitt
DB Darrick Forrest, Cincinnati
DE Chauncey Golston, Iowa
DB Richie Grant, UCF
LB Jake Hansen, Illinois
DB Kolby Harvell-Peel, Oklahoma State
LB Treshaun Hayward, Western Michigan
DB Jevon Holland, Oregon
DE Wyatt Hubert, Kansas State
DB Talanoa Hufanga, USC
DE Drake Jackson, USC
DE Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina
LB Buddy Johnson, Texas A&M
DE Raymond Johnson III, Georgia Southern
DB Shaun Jolly, Appalachian State
DE Patrick Jones, Pitt
DB Kekaula Kaniho, Boise State
DE George Karlaftis, Purdue
DE Malcolm Koonce, Buffalo
LB Nate Landman, Colorado
DB Richard LeCounte, Georgia
DT Ifeanyi Maijeh, Temple
DE DeAngelo Malone, WKU
LB Carlton Martial, Troy
DB Trevon Moehrig, TCU
DB Elijah Molden, Washington
LB Kristopher Moll, UAB
LB Dylan Moses, Alabama
DB Hamsah Nasirildeen, Florida State
DT Lorenzo Neal, Purdue
DT Dion Novil, North Texas
DT Levi Onwuzurike, Washington
LB Joseph Ossai, Texas
LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame
LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
DE Kwity Paye, Michigan
DE Ronnie Perkins, Oklahoma
DE Dom Peterson, Nevada
DB Antonio Phillips, Ball State
LB Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Oregon State
DT LaBryan Ray, Alabama
LB Justin Rice, Fresno State
LB Monty Rice, Georgia
LB Max Richardson, Boston College
DE Taylor Riggins, Buffalo
DB Aaron Robinson, UCF
DE Quincy Roche, Miami
DE Gregory Rousseau, Miami
DT Jordon Scott, Oregon
DT Tyler Shelvin, LSU
LB James Skalski, Clemson
DE Jordan Smith, UAB
LB Charles Snowden, Virginia
DB Caden Sterns, Texas
DB JaCoby Stevens, LSU
DT Dante Stills, West Virginia
DT Darius Stills, West Virginia
DB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU
DB Eric Stokes, Georgia
DB Corey Straughter, ULM
LB Chazz Surratt, North Carolina
DB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
DE Demetrius Taylor, Appalachian State
DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
DT Cameron Thomas, San Diego State
LB Henry To’o To’o, Tennessee
DE Shaka Toney, Penn State
DT Khyiris Tonga, BYU
LB Joe Tryon, Washington
DT Jay Tufele, USC
DT Jaylen Twyman, Pitt
DB Shaun Wade, Ohio State
LB Garret Wallow, TCU
LB Drew White, Notre Dame
DT Kobie Whiteside, Missouri
DB James Wiggins, Cincinnati
DT Marvin Wilson, Florida State
LB Jahad Woods, Washington State

By conference: ACC 17, SEC 15, Pac-12 13, Big 12 12, Big Ten 10, Conference USA 7, American Athletic 6, Sun Belt 6, Mid-American 5, Mountain West 4, Independents 3.
By position: Linebackers 31, Backs 28, Ends 23, Tackles 16.
Players may be added or removed from the list before or during the season


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