Auburn’s standout defensive tackle Derrick Brown has been named one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, awarded annually to the nation’s best defensive player as named by the Football Writers Association of America.
Brown was named a finalist in a release sent out Wednesday. He stands as a finalist alongside Georgia’s J.R. Reed, Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons, Minnesota’s Antoine Winfield Jr. and Ohio State’s Chase Young.
The Nagurski Trophy winner will be selected among those five finalists. The FWAA’s All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s entire membership, will select the winner, the Wednesday release detailed.
The award banquet will be held Dec. 9 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C.
No Auburn player has ever won the Nagurski Trophy since it was first awarded in 1993. Brown is the third Auburn player to be named a finalist, after Nick Fairley in 2010 and Carlos Rogers in 2004.
Brown has been a star for Auburn all season. He’s piled up 43 tackles, with nine for loss and four sacks. He has earned the SEC’s Defensive Lineman of the Week award three times.
Brown is often projected to be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft next spring.
He’s now totaled 157 career tackles with 30 tackles for loss and 13 sacks.
While neither Rogers nor Fairley came away with the Nagurski Trophy, Rogers ultimately won the Jim Thorpe Award that December and Fairley ultimately won the Lombardi Award.
Those two join Tracy Rocker, winner of both the Lombardi Award and the Outland Trophy in 1988, as the only defensive Auburn players to have won a major award in the program’s history.
On Wednesday, Brown was also named a finalist for the Outland Trophy along with Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz, Oregon tackle Penei Sewell, Cemson guard John Simpson, Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas and Iowa tackle Tristan Wirfs.