DALLAS, Texas (Press Release) Defensive lineman Aikeem Coleman's impact on the Idaho football team has not gone unnoticed, as the Hattiesburg, Miss., native was recognized on Thursday with the announcement of the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List.
In total, 103 defensive standouts made the Watch List, including six members of the Sun Belt Conference. The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists on Thursday, November 16.
Coleman took home the Sun Belt Conference Newcomer of the Year award last season after leading the Vandals in tackles for loss and sacks. His eight sacks were also the fourth most in the conference and the 47th best mark nationally. Coleman was exceptional in back-to-back games against Appalachian State and Louisiana, picking up three TFL's and two sacks in each contest.
The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Mon., Dec. 4 at the Charlotte Convention Center. In addition to the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner's announcement, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by the CTC and Florida East Coast Railway. Notre Dame's Ross Browner, a member of the FWAA's 1976 and 1977 All-America Teams, the 1976 Outland Trophy winner and a College Football Hall of Famer, will be honored. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.
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 college football's most prestigious awards. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 23 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.
Coleman, as well as quarterback Matt Linehan and head coach Paul Petrino, will be in New Orleans next weekend for the annual Sun Belt Media. The event will be streamed live through ESPN3.