DALLAS (FWAA) – Clemson defensive end Austin Bryant tied a school record with four sacks – and had seven total tackles – in the Tigers’ 14-6 win over Auburn. His effort in helping Clemson move to 2-0 on the season earned him the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week for games of the weekend of Sept. 9.
Bryant, a 6-5, 265-pound junior from Pavo, Ga., became just the third player in Clemson history with four sacks in a game, tying the mark set by Keith Adams vs. Duke in 1999 and Andre Branch vs. Virginia Tech in 2011. Bryant was a key part of a defensive front that had 11 sacks – their highest single-game total since 2004 – for minus-72 yards. Auburn was held to just 117 yards of total offense, and less than one yard per carry on the ground (42 attempts, 38 net yards).
Clemson held Auburn without an offensive touchdown for the first time in 23 games, led by Bryant’s team-leading tackles for loss. Bryant now has 13 tackles on the season in 87 snaps, or one every 6.6 snaps.
Each Tuesday during the regular season, the FWAA has selected a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001. Bryant 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 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Wed., Nov. 15. The winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2017 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. 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.
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.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.
2017 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
• Weekend of Sept. 2: Jordan Wyatt, SMU
• Weekend of Sept. 9: Austin Bryant, Clemson