Beckwith, Mills Among Nagurski Watch List

by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
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Beckwith, Mills Among Nagurski Watch List

BATON ROUGE – Three days after the LSU football duo was named to the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, both linebacker Kendell Beckwith and safety Jalen Mills were among preseason candidates for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) announced Friday.

The Nagurski Trophy is awarded to the best defensive player in college football each season.

A total of 88 players make up the Nagurski watch list, including Beckwith and Mills, and more players are available to be added each week once the season starts.

Mills enters his senior season having started all 39 games in his career, racking up 186 tackles and six interceptions.

The Desoto, Texas native will begin his second season as a starter at safety after spending his first two seasons as a starting cornerback.

Last season Mills finished with 62 tackles, five pass breakups, three tackles for a loss, two quarterback hurries, one interception and one fumble recovery.

Beckwith, who started the final seven games of the 2014 season, enters his first full season as the starting middle linebacker after he accumulated 77 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, three pass breakups, two quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries and one interception that he returned 29 yards for a touchdown last year.

A gifted athlete, Beckwith will serve as a leader for the Tigers’ stout defense that ended 2014 ranked No. 1 in the SEC in total defense and No. 2 in scoring defense.

The FWAA and the Charlotte (N.C.) Touchdown Club will announce the five finalists on Nov. 19, and the winner will be selected on Dec. 7 at the annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet in Charlotte.

About the Bronko Nagurski Trophy
Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. Once again, the FWAA will announce a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday from early September through mid November. 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 2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 19.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2014 FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s entire membership, selects the 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner, the best defensive player in college football during the FWAA’s 75th anniversary year.

The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Dec. 7 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte. In addition to the 2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner’s announcement, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by the CTC and Florida East Coast Railway. Ohio State’s Randy Gradishar, a member of the FWAA’s 1973 All-America team and a College Football Hall of Famer, will be honored. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.

The FWAA has named 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.

LSU Football on Preseason Watch Lists:

July 6 – The Hornung Award: Fournette (full list)
July 7 – Bednarik Award: Beckwith, Mills (full list)
July 7 – The Maxwell Award: Fournette (full list)
July 8 – Rimington Trophy: Pocic (full list)
July 9 – Ray Guy Award: Keehn (full list)
July 10 – Bronko Nagurski: Beckwith, Mills (full list below)
July 10 – Outland Trophy: Alexander (full list)
July 13 – Jim Thorpe Award
July 14 – Butkus Award and Rotary Lombardi Award
July 15 – Biletnikoff Award and Wuerffel Trophy
July 16 – Davey O’Brien Award and Doak Walker Award
July 17 – Walter Camp Award and William V. Campbell Trophy

2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List

Name, School, Position
Dominique Alexander, Oklahoma, LB
Jonathan Allen, Alabama, DE
Budda Baker, Washington, DB
Derek Barnett, Tennessee, DE
Dante Barnett, Kansas State, DB
Kendell Beckwith, LSU, LB
Vonn Bell, Ohio State, DB
Vince Biegel, Wisconsin, LB
Andrew Billings, Baylor, DT
Quin Blanding, Virginia, DB
Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Minnesota, DB
Joey Bosa, Ohio State, DE
Kentrell Brothers, Missouri, LB
DeForest Buckner, Oregon, DE
James Burgess, Louisville, LB
Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State, DE
Maurice Canady, Virginia, DB
Michael Caputo, Wisconsin, DB
Jeremy Cash, Duke, DB
Kenny Clark, UCLA, DT
Maliek Collins, Nebraska, DT
Tony Conner, Ole Miss, DB
Kamalei Correa, Boise State, DE
Su’a Cravens, USC, LB
Sheldon Day, Notre Dame, DT
Ken Ekanem, Virginia Tech, DE
Kyler Fackrell, Utah State, LB
Leonard Floyd, Georgia, LB
Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech, DB
Myles Garrett, Texas A&M, DE
Adam Gotsis, Georgia Tech, DT
Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida, DB
Myles Jack, UCLA, LB
Adoree’ Jackson, USC, DB
William Jackson, Houston, DB
Jordan Jenkins, Georgia, DE
Gerrand Johnson, ULM, DT
Chris Jones, Mississippi State, DT
Jonathan Jones, Auburn, DB
Karl Joseph, West Virginia, DB
Bronson Kaufusi, BYU, DE
Carl Lawson, Auburn, DE
Darron Lee, Ohio State, LB
William Likely, Maryland, DB
Jordan Lucas, Penn State, DB
Luther Maddy, Virginia Tech, DT
Curt Maggitt, Tennessee, LB
Corey Marshall, Virginia Tech, DT
Blake Martinez, Stanford, LB
Tyler Matakevich, Temple, LB
Danzel McDaniel, Kansas State, DB
Adrian McDonald, Houston, DB
Cassanova McKinzy, Auburn, LB
Jalen Mills, LSU, DB
Fabian Moreau, UCLA, DB
Antonio Morrison, Florida, LB
Eric Murray, Minnesota, DB
Dadi Nicolas, Virginia Tech, DE
Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss, DT
Jared Norris, Utah, LB
Pat O’Connor, Eastern Michigan, DE
Shawn Oakman, Baylor, DE
Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State, DE
Drew Ott, Iowa, DE
Joshua Perry, Ohio State, LB
Reggie Ragland, Alabama, LB
Jalen Ramsey, Florida State, DB
Sheldon Rankins, Louisville, DE
Will Redmond, Mississippi State, DB
Pete Robertson, Texas Tech, DE
A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama, DT
KeiVarae Russell, Notre Dame, DB
Zack Sanchez, Oklahoma, DB
Jovan Santos-Knox, Massachusetts, LB
Joe Schmidt, Notre Dame, LB
Ian Seau, Nevada, DE
Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame, LB
Terrance Smith, Florida State, LB
Eric Striker, Oklahoma, LB
Charles Tapper, Oklahoma, DE
Darian Thompson, Boise State, DB
Jeremy Timpf, Army, LB
Travis Tuiloma, BYU, DT
Adolphus Washington, Ohio State, DT
Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech, DB
Scooby Wright III, Arizona, LB
Ronald Zamort, Western Michigan, DB
Anthony Zettel, Penn State, DT