The Conference was again well represented in preseason watch lists as the Bronko Nagurski and Outland Trophy lists were announced on Thursday.
13 Big 12 student-athletes were named to the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. The trophy is awarded annually to the nation’s top defensive player as decided by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club. The committee has named a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993, but named the award in honor of the legendary two-way Bronislaw “Bronko” Nagurski in 1995. Nagurski played his collegiate career at the University of Minnesota, before going on to have a hall-of-fame career in the NFL with the Chicago Bears.
The list of Big 12 athletes includes Malcom Brown (Texas), Sam Carter (TCU), Quandre Diggs (Texas), Devonte Fields (TCU), Bryce Hager (Baylor), Ben Heeney (Kansas), Chucky Hunter (TCU), Ryan Muller (K-State), Shawn Oakman (Baylor), Cedric Reed (Texas), Zach Sanchez (Oklahoma), Eric Striker (Oklahoma) and Charles Tapper (Oklahoma).
The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 20 and a winner will be selected from those five finalists at the annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet to be held on Dec. 8 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte.
Nine Big 12 Conference student-athletes were also named to the 2014 Outland Trophy Watch List. Le’Raven Clarke (Texas Tech), Spencer Drango (Baylor), Daryl Williams (Oklahoma), Quinton Spain (West Virginia), Dominic Espinosa (Texas), B.J. Finney (K-State), Malcom Brown (Texas), Chucky Hunter (TCU) and Cody Whitehair (K-State) were all recognized.
The Outland Trophy is awarded to the nation’s best interior lineman. The Football Writers Association of America, the FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects the 26-man first team and eventually the Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner. The Outland Trophy presentation banquet, sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee, will be held on Jan. 15, 2015, in Omaha, Neb.