Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Outland Trophy watch lists announced
The preseason watch lists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Outland Trophy were announced on Thursday.
The Pac-12 Conference led all leagues with 18 players on the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List, given to the top defensive player in the nation, with Oregon, Stanford, USC and Washington supplying the majority from that conference.
Twelve schools had at least three players on the list – Stanford (4), Washington (4), Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, TCU and USC.
There are no returning first-team defensive FWAA All-America players from last season, but three 2013 second-teamers are on the 2014 Nagurski Watch List: Vic Beasley, Clemson; Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon; and Ryan Mueller, Kansas State.
Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. Once again, the FWAA will choose a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday throughout the season. 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 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 20.
The Southeastern Conference dominated the 2014 Outland Trophy Watch List with 19 players – at least eight more prospects than any of the seven other major-college conferences represented on the 64-man list released by the Football Writers Association of America. The Outland is awarded to the top interior lineman -- offense or defense.
Texas A&M and South Carolina, which open the 2014 season in the first game on the SEC Network on Aug. 28, each had three linemen on the list. Other SEC schools with three players were Alabama and Auburn. The only other schools with three players were defending national champion Florida State and Oregon.
There are no returning linemen from the first-team FWAA All-America group from 2013. But Oregon center Hroniss Grasu and Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff, second-teamers from last season, are on the list.
The Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists who are part of the FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects the 26-man first team and eventually the Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner. Only interior linemen on offense or defense are eligible for the award; ends are not eligible.