South Carolina junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, the lone returning finalist from last season, heads the 2013 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List of 81 standout defensive players, announced today by the Football Writers Association of America.
One of the players on the watch list most likely will be awarded the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented annually to the national defensive player of the year by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club. Every NCAA Division I Bowl Subdivision conference and several independents are represented on the list that is evenly divided among linemen, linebackers and defensive backs.
Clowney, a 6-6, 274-pounder from Rock Hill, S.C., was a unanimous All-America selection as a sophomore last season. The SEC's Defensive Player of the Year finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting after recording 54 tackles, including a school record 23.5 tackles for loss and a school record 13.0 quarterback sacks. Earlier this week, Clowney was named to both the Maxwell Award and Bednarik Award watch lists.
Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. Once again, the FWAA will choose a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday throughout the season. If not already on the watch list, the honored player will be added at that time. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2013 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 21.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2013 FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association's entire membership, selects the 25-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner, the best defensive player in America.
The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet will be held on Dec. 9 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte. In addition to the 2013 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner announcement, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by the CTC and Florida East Coast Railway. Georgia Tech's Randy Rhino, a member of the FWAA's 1972 All-America team, will be honored. Florida head coach Will Muschamp will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.