Mountain West Football: Four Named To Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List
Five offensive linemen and two defensive tackles from the Mountain West were named among the nation’s best interior linemen.
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Familiar faces make a new prestigious cut.
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College football’s watch list season continued today with the reveal of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list, which is given annually to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player. Among the 98 players to make the cut, four hail from the Mountain West.
Boise State defensive back Kekaula Kaniho, who also made an appearance on the Jim Thorpe Award watch list earlier this week, is the only Mountain West defensive back among 28 overall on the Nagurski roll call. He was a first-team all-conference selection in 2019 after finishing in a tie for first among conference defensive backs with 11 tackles for loss and collecting three sacks and six pass breakups.
Fresno State’s Justin Rice, who was also named to the Bednarik Award watch list last week, was also a 2019 first-team all-conference selection after stepping in as an anchor for a totally rebuilt linebacker unit, leading the Mountain West at his position with 112 total tackles while disrupting opponents with eight tackles for loss, eight passes defended, three sacks, and four forced fumbles.
For Nevada’s Dom Peterson and San Diego State’s Cameron Thomas, meanwhile, the Nagurski list is the third list that each has made an appearance on, joining Rice as a Bednarik honoree while also making the cut for the Outland Trophy watch list that was released today. Peterson led all returning conference defenders with 15 tackles for loss and nine sacks, while Cameron Thomas broke out for the Aztecs as a redshirt freshman with 5.5 sacks, nine tackles for loss and 49 total tackles.
Last year’s Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner was Ohio State’s Chase Young.