FREE: LB Alex Aukerman placed on Nagurski Watch List

Army West Point Sports Athletics Communications, Special to GoBlackKnights.com
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Aukerman Placed On Nagurski Watch List

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Senior linebacker Alex Aukerman was one of 103 defensive players to be named to the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List on Friday.

During his junior campaign, the linebacker played an integral role in the team's defensive unit that was ranked second nationally. Aukerman appeared in all 13 contests and totaled 35 solo tackles, the most of any returner, and 24 assisted tackles, second amongst returners, on the year. The rising senior led the Black Knights with 15.0 tackles for loss for 56 yards. Aukerman boasted a team-best 7.5 sacks, in which Army ranked 11th nationally, and recorded 45 yards from sacks. Last season against Duke, Aukerman totaled 13 tackles, seven solo and six assisted, opposite Duke, while recording six solo and two assisted tackles against North Texas in the Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl. The Greenwood, Ind., native posted two sacks in both the Temple and Duke games.

Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. As in previous seasons, the FWAA will announce a National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday throughout the 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 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Thurs., Nov. 16.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner 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.

The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Mon., Dec. 4 at the Charlotte Convention Center. In addition to the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner's announcement, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by the CTC and Florida East Coast Railway. Notre Dame's Ross Browner, a member of the FWAA's 1976 and 1977 All-America Teams, the 1976 Outland Trophy winner and a College Football Hall of Famer, will be honored. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.

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 college football's most prestigious awards. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 23 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.

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