DALLAS (FWAA) – Utah linebacker Sunia Tauteoli has been named the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Utes’ 20-19 victory over arch-rival BYU last Saturday.
Tauteoli, a 6-0, 226-pound junior from Salt Lake City, returned his first career interception 41 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first play from scrimmage. He had a second interception in the third quarter.
But maybe his biggest defensive play was his assist on a tackle that prevented BYU’s two-point conversion attempt with 18 seconds remaining in the game. He had six tackles in the game, two unassisted.
Tauteoli will be added to the Bronko Nagurski Watch List for the annual award. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Thurs., Nov. 17. The winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2016 FWAA All-America Team.
The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s entire membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalists. The committee members then select the winner as the best defensive player in college football.
The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Mon., Dec. 5, at the Charlotte Convention Center. In addition to the 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner’s announcement, the banquet will celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by the CTC and Florida East Coast Railway. Navy’s Chet Moeller, a member of the FWAA’s 1975 All-America Team and a College Football Hall of Famer, will be honored. Duke head coach David Cutcliffe 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.