Early Wednesday evening, the three finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy were named, and two of them were SEC standouts. Georgia’s immovable force, interior lineman Jordan Davis, and Alabama’s super sophomore, Will Anderson Jr, will headline the three players selected for the award given out to the nation’s best defender alongside Oregon edge rusher and future number one pick, Kayvon Thibodeaux.
Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux is one of the three finalist for the 2021 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, awarded to the most outstanding defensive player in the nation. Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. and Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis are the other two players who were selected— Antwan V. Staley (@antwanstaley) November 17, 2021
All three finalists have taken home 2021 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honors once each, so it’s no surprise to see these three here. Jordan Davis has been a one-man game wrecker in the trenches for not just one of the nation’s best defenses, but one of the best defenses ever, while Will Anderson Jr. leads the nation with 12 sacks on the season and has 19 tackles-for-loss as well.
Only two SEC players have won the revered Nagurski Award in the last decade, Kentucky’s Josh Allen in 2018 and Alabama’s Jonathan Allen in 2016, and just four times has the award come back to the Southeastern Conference since its inception in 1993. Jordan Davis would be the second Georgia Bulldog to win the award, looking to join the legendary Champ Bailey who took it home in 1998. As for Will Anderson Jr, he could join the aforementioned Jonathan Allen as the only Alabama player to win the award, and only twice has a sophomore been selected as the winner. Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis in 2006, and Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright III in 2014 are the lone two underclassmen who have taken home the coveted trophy.
The winner of the Nagurski Trophy will be announced on December 6 at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet.