Credit: Mississippi State Athletics
Mississippi State’s Nathaniel Watson has been named to the watch list for the 2023 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Football Writers Association of America announced on Tuesday. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is given annually to the best defensive player in college football and is awarded by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
Watson, nicknamed Bookie, is coming off a career year that saw him finish with 113 tackles. As one of the anchors to last year’s defense that ranked seventh in the SEC in team defense, Watson finished second in the SEC in total tackles and third in tackles per game (8.69). Watson also had a knack for getting to the quarterback with six sacks, tied for the most on the team, while adding an interception to his season stat line. Watson has played 45 career games and has racked up 242 tackles with 11 sacks. This preseason, Watson has earned national recognition through the Nagurski Trophy, along with earning a pair of preseason All-SEC honors by the media and Sport info Solutions (SIS).
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list features 96 defensive standouts from 70 schools in all 10 Division I FBS conferences, plus Independents.
Players may be added or removed from the watch list during 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 finalists for the 2023 trophy on Nov. 15, and the winner will be unveiled on Dec. 4 at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet in Charlotte, N.C.