CCU’s CJ Brewer earns spot on Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list

Defensive tackle is only the second-ever Chant to be named on the watch list joining, Tarron Jackson from 2020
CCU defensive tackle CJ Brewer.
CCU defensive tackle CJ Brewer.(Coastal Carolina Athletics)
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 3:16 PM EDT
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DALLAS, Texas – Coastal Carolina defensive tackle C.J. Brewer has been named to the 2021 Bronko Nagurski Trophy preseason watch list, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) announced today.

The preseason list includes 90 defensive standouts from 61 schools in all 10 Division I FBS conferences plus independents on a roster that includes seven returning players from last season’s FWAA All-America team, another from the 2019 team, the nation’s top four tacklers from a year ago, three of the top seven sack leaders, and one of the interception leaders.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists and honored at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet presented by LendingTree on Dec. 6 at the Charlotte Convention Center. 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.

A nominee for the 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his impact both on and off the field, Brewer continues to garner preseason accolades prior to the 2021 season. The super senior was named to the 2021 Outland Trophy preseason watch list today as well and picked up 2021 Athlon Sports Preseason All-America fourth-team honors.A 2020 Associated Press (AP) All-America third-team selection and 2020 Phil Steele honorable mention All-American last season as a team captain, the 2021 Phil Steele Preseason SBC All-Conference and 2021 Athlon Sports Preseason All-Sun Belt first-team selection, was also named to the 2021 Pro Football Focus (PFF) College Football Preseason All-Sun Belt third team this preseason.

In 2020, in which the Chant defender picked up All-Sun Belt and Phil Steele SBC All-Conference first-team accolades after garnering All-Sun Belt third-team recognition in 2019, Brewer played in and started all 12 games along the defensive front for the Chants. He finished the season tied for second on the team and fourth in the Sun Belt with 6.5 sacks, was third on the team and eighth in the league with 11.0 tackles-for-loss on the year, and ranked fifth on the team with 60 total tackles. He also recorded six quarterback hurries, forced one fumble, and recovered a fumble on the defensive line.

Brewer recorded a career-high 14 tackles, to go along with 3.0 tackles-for-loss and 1.5 sacks, in the win over Appalachian State (Nov. 21) and tallied six stops in home wins over South Alabama (Nov. 7) and then-No. 8 BYU (Dec. 5). He also recorded 3.0 tackles-for-loss and 2.0 sacks in the season-opening win over Kansas (Sept. 12), the same game in which he caught his first career touchdown pass, and registered seven total tackles in wins over Campbell (Sept. 18) and at then-No. 21 Louisiana (Oct. 14).

He enters his final season at CCU in 2021 ranked fifth all-time in CCU’s career record books in quarterback hurries (14), sixth all-time in sacks (11.5), sixth all-time in fumbles forced (5), ninth all-time in tackles-for-loss (23.0), and ninth all-time in assisted tackles (108).

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. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit and @NCFAA on Twitter to learn more about the association.

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