Tyler Grubbs named to Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List

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Tyler Grubbs, Jack Abraham
LA Tech freshman linebacker Tyler Grubbs (#52) during a 31-30 LA Tech victory at Southern Miss on Sept. 19, 2020 at M.M. Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg, Miss. (Photo by TOM MORRIS/LATechSporrtsPix.com).

RUSTON, La. – The preseason accolades continue to roll in for Louisiana Tech freshman Tyler Grubbs as the linebacker was named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List as announced by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) on Tuesday.

This year’s watch list includes at least four players from all 10 FBS conferences plus five from the independent schools. The SEC led the conference list with 20 with the Big Ten (13) and Big 12 (12) just behind, making up half of the list. The Pac-12 (9) was fourth, followed by the ACC (8), Conference USA, Independents, Mountain West and Sun Belt (5 each) and the American Athletic and Mid-American had four apiece. The list includes 29 linebackers, 22 backs, 22 ends and 17 tackles.

Grubbs, who also has been named to the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, will look to capitalize on a breakthrough freshman campaign where he was a 2020 FWAA, ESPN and 247Sports.com Freshman All-American. As a true freshman, Grubbs was named first team all-Conference USA by both the league and Phil Steele while also earning a spot on the Conference USA All-Freshman team.

The New Orleans, La., native registered a team-best 99 tackles and finished second on the team in both solo tackles (45) and tackles for loss (9.5) as a true freshman in 2020. Grubbs opened the season with back-to-back double digit tackle performances with a career-high 16 tackles against Southern Miss (Sept. 19) and a 12-tackle outing against Houston Baptist (Sept. 26). He ended the 2020 campaign with a career-high 12 solo tackles against Georgia Southern at the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 23).

Grubbs finished the 2020 season ranked second in C-USA and 25th in the FBS in tackles per game at 9.9, and he was sixth in C-USA in tackles for loss with 9.5.

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 ncfaa.org and @NCFAA on Twitter to learn more about the association.

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.

Louisiana Tech opens the 2021 season at Mississippi State on Saturday, Sept. 4, at 3 p.m. Tech will then open a three-game home stretch against Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday, Sept. 11, at 6 p.m. inside Joe Aillet Stadium.

Season tickets for the 2021 Louisiana Tech football season are on sale now. Fans can purchase season tickets online at LATechSports.com/tickets or by calling the LA Tech Ticket Office at (318) 257-3631.

For all the latest in Bulldog Football, follow them on Twitter (@LATechFB), Instagram (@LATechFB) and Facebook (LATechFootball) or visit the official website at LATechSports.com.

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