Texas junior defensive tackle Malcom Brown has been named a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation’s best defensive player.
Brown was the only Big 12 player and lone defensive lineman on the list, which should help his case for All-America and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
Fellow finalists Alabama’s Landon Collins, Ole Miss’ Senquez Golson and Louisville’s Gerod Holliman are all defensive backs. Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright is also on the list.
“I’m really excited. It’s been a lifelong dream to be up for an award like the Nagurski,” Brown said in a statement released by the school Thursday. “When I first got here, I said I wanted to be remembered and make people proud. I feel like being up for an award like this helps me do that. Derrick Johnson and Brian Orakpo have both won the Nagurski, and it means a lot to be a finalist like them because they’re two of the greatest to come through here.”
Brown is arguably the Longhorns MVP this season. He leads the team in tackles for loss (14), sacks (6.5) and forced fumbles (two). He ranks eighth in the Big 12 in sacks (0.59 per game).
Johnson and Orakpo were the only two other players in Texas history to be named finalists. Johnson won the award in 2004; Orakpo in 2008. The 2014 winner will be announced Dec. 8. The award is presented by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
“Malcom is a special player and he’s having an unbelievable season,” Texas coach Charlie Strong said in a statement. “He does everything you need to do to be great. He worked hard in the offseason, is as relentless in practice as he is in games, plays at an extremely high level and studies and prepares for every game. He also handles himself in the classroom and off the field. We’re really excited that he’s been selected as a Nagurski Trophy finalist.”
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