DALLAS, TX – Coastal Carolina football’s Tarron Jackson was named to the preseason watch list for the 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy presented by LendingTree, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), in conjunction with the Charlotte Touchdown Club, announced today.
The preseason watch list includes a total of 98 defensive standouts from 66 schools in all 10 Division I FBS conferences plus independents.
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 preseason watch list marks the second national defensive player of the year watch list honor for Jackson, as the redshirt senior defensive end was also named to the Bednarik Award watch list earlier this month, an award presented annually to the College Defensive Player of the Year by the Maxwell Football Club.
Named a 2020 preseason first-team All-Sun Belt selection by Phil Steele, Athlon Sports, Lindy’s, and College Football News (CFN), and also named to the 2020 College Football America Yearbook (CFA) Group of 5 Preseason Starting Lineup this preseason, Jackson returns for his redshirt senior year after a stellar redshirt junior season in 2019.
A two-time All-Sun Belt selection, earning first-team honors in 2019 after third-team recognition in 2018, Jackson led the Sun Belt and set a new Coastal single-season record with 10.0 sacks last season. His 72 yards lost from his 10.0 sacks was also a CCU single-season record. He also led the team and ranked fifth in the Sun Belt with 13.0 tackles-for-loss, of which 9.5 came in conference play, and was second on the team with a total of 60 tackles on the season. He added a school-record 13 quarterback hurries, forced two fumbles, and tallied two pass breakups from his defensive end position. A 2019 team captain, Jackson recorded five tackles or more in six of the Chants' 12 games on the season, including a career-high 10 stops in the home contest versus Georgia State on Oct. 12, 2019. Jackson capped off the season by tying the CCU single-game record of 3.0 sacks in the regular-season finale win over Texas State on Nov. 30, 2019.
Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. As in previous years, the FWAA will announce a National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday this season. If not already on the watch list, each week's honored player will be added at that time. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
The winner of the 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy presented by LendingTree as the National Defensive Player of the Year 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.