ALABAMA’S ANDERSON JR. IS BRONKO NAGURSKI NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore linebacker has four sacks in drubbing of Mississippi State
DALLAS (FWAA) – Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. became the first Crimson Tide defender since 1988 to have four sacks in a game and posted six total tackles in a 49-9 win at Mississippi State. For the record performance that puts him alongside names such as Derrick Thomas and Leroy Cook, Anderson earned the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Oct. 16, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.
This is the eighth time for an Alabama player to earn the Bronko Nagurski Trophy weekly honor and the first since 2018. The Crimson Tide has a rich tradition with the award with finalists in 10 of the last 12 seasons and defensive end Jonathan Allen as the 2016 winner. Anderson was a member of the preseason Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list.
The four sacks put Anderson in the FBS lead in tackles for loss with 15, totaling 72 yards in losses on the season. Anderson’s four sacks against MSU accounted for minus-35 yards as Alabama held the Bulldogs to 18.8 points below their season average and 72 yards below their passing average coming into the game. He also broke up one pass and was credited with six quarterback hurries.
The 6-4, 243-pound sophomore from Hampton, Ga., named the Shaun Alexander National Freshman Player of the Year last season by the FWAA after starting every game and leading the SEC and all national freshmen with 7.0 sacks while also adding 10.5 tackles for loss. His 52 total QB pressures were second nationally.
Alabama hosts Tennessee at 6 p.m. CT Saturday on ESPN.
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.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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