Mississippi State senior linebacker Richie Brown has been named to the 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List, the Football Writers Association of America announced Friday.
Brown is one of 88 defensive standouts from the 10 Division I FBS conferences and is also one of 29 linebackers and 27 Southeastern Conference student-athletes named to the list. An anchor on the Bulldog defense, Brown is coming off a junior campaign in which he led State in tackles (109) and started in all 13 games in the middle. His 109 tackles ranked fifth in the SEC, while his team-best 6.5 sacks, ranked 11th in the league.
The Long Beach, Mississippi native is also a 2016 Butkus Award Candidate and was previously named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week (Oct. 4, 2014) and SEC Defensive Player of the Week (Oct. 4, 2014). Off the field, Brown is a three-time SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll member (2013, 2014 and 2015) and is currently working on his Master of Business degree in MSU’s prestigious MBA School after having earned his undergraduate degree in industrial technology in the spring of 2016 with a 3.52 GPA.
Brown is set to be one of three student-athletes to represent MSU on Tuesday, July 12 at SEC Media Day at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2016 FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s entire membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski Trophy finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner, the best defensive player in college football.
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.