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ARMY, NAVY LAND PLAYERS ON THE NAGURSKI TROPHY WATCH LIST

The Football Writers Association of America released its 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Preseason Watch List on Thursday. Army and Navy both had players listed among the 103 candidates on the list.

Alex Aukerman

Alex Aukerman (USMA Photo)

Senior Army linebacker Alex Aukerman had 59 tackles including 15 for losses in 2016. Against Duke, he piled up an impressive 13 tackles. Aukerman, Greenwood, Ind. native, had eight tackles in Army's Heart of Dallas Bowl in in December.

Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas (USNA Photo)

Navy Micah Thomas earned second team All-AAC honors for making 107 tackles. The Cedar Park, Texas native also had one sack and three tackles for loss. During the AAC Championship game Thomas had eight tackles.

Tackles (19)
Drew Bailey, Louisville
Folorunso Fatukasi, UConn
Greg Gaines, Washington
Will Geary, Kansas State
Rasheem Green, USC
B.J. Hill, N.C. State
Maurice Hurst, Michigan
Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
Lowell Lotulelei, Utah
David Moa, Boise State
Derrick Nnadi, Florida State
Kendrick Norton, Miami
Ed Oliver, Houston
Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
Steven Richardson, Minnesota
Deadrin Senat, USF
Trent Thompson, Georgia
Vita Vea, Washington
Christian Wilkins, Clemson

Ends (25)
Dorance Armstrong Jr., Kansas
Nick Bosa, Ohio State
Bradley Chubb, N.C. State
Aikeem Coleman, Idaho
Duke Ejiofor, Wake Forest
Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech
Marcell Frazier, Missouri
Rashan Gary, Michigan
Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss
Sam Hubbard, Ohio State
Harold Landry, Boston College
Justin Lawler, SMU
Tyquan Lewis, Ohio State
James Looney, California
Hercules Mata’afa, Washington State
Malik Reed, Nevada
Malcolm Roach, Texas
Ja’Von Rolland-Jones, Arkansas State
Conor Sheehy, Wisconsin
K.J. Smith, Baylor
Josh Sweat, Florida State
Chad Thomas, Miami
Reggie Walker, Kansas State
JoJo Wicker, Arizona State
Jabari Zuniga, Florida

Linebackers (29)
Alex Aukerman, Army West Point
Genard Avery, Memphis
Jerome Baker, Ohio State
Eric Boggs, Appalachian State
Jason Cabinda, Penn State
Steve Casali, Massachusetts
Jack Cichy, Wisconsin
Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
Emmanuel Ellerbee, Rice
Rashaan Evans, Alabama
Ulysees Gilbert III, Akron
Shaquem Griffin, UCF
James Hearns, Louisville
Travin Howard, TCU
Malik Jefferson, Texas
Josey Jewell, Iowa
Jordan Jones, Kentucky
Arden Key, LSU
Micah Kiser, Virginia
Skai Moore, South Carolina
Nyles Morgan, Notre Dame
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma
Shaquille Quarterman, Miami
Auggie Sanchez, USF
Tegray Scales, Indiana
Jahlani Tavai, Hawaii
Micah Thomas, Navy
Cameron Smith, USC
Azeem Victor, Washington

Backs (30)
Jaire Alexander, Louisville
Dravon Askew-Henry, West Virginia
Marcus Allen, Penn State
Quin Blanding, Virginia
Blace Brown, Troy
Andre Chachere, San Jose State
Sean Chandler, Temple
Duke Dawson, Florida
D’Cota Dixon, Wisconsin
Rashard Fant, Indiana
Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Chase Hansen, Utah
Heath Harding, Miami (Ohio)
Ronnie Harrison, Alabama
Godwin Igwebuike, Northwestern
Derwin James, Florida State
Shawun Lurry, NIU
Iman Marshall, USC
Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State
Quenton Meeks, Stanford
Deatrick Nichols, USF
Taylor Rapp, Washington
Jeremy Reaves, South Alabama
D.J. Reed, Kansas State
Jordan Thomas, Oklahoma
Kevin Toliver, LSU
Armani Watts, Texas A&M
Jordan Whitehead, Pitt
Andrew Wingard, Wyoming
Jaden Wright, New Mexico State

The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Thurs., Nov. 16.

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.

The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Mon., Dec. 4 at the Charlotte Convention Center. In addition to the 2017 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. Notre Dame’s Ross Browner, a member of the FWAA’s 1976 and 1977 All-America Teams, the 1976 Outland Trophy winner and a College Football Hall of Famer, will be honored. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.

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.

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