Stephon Gilmore and Devin Taylor have been named to the 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List, while T.J. Johnson and Rokevious Watkins have been named to the 2011 Outland Trophy Watch List, it was announced today.
Gilmore is a 6-1, 194-pound junior cornerback from Rock Hill, S.C., who has started all 27 games for the Gamecocks over the past two seasons. He led the squad with 79 tackles a year ago while earning first-team All-SEC and third-team All-America honors.
Taylor is a 6-7, 248-pound junior defensive end from Beaufort, S.C., who earned All-SEC honors in 2010 after logging 13.0 tackles for loss including 7.5 sacks, ranking among the SEC leaders in both categories. His 46 tackles led the Gamecocks’ defensive linemen.
Johnson is a 6-4, 314-pound junior center from Aynor, S.C., who has started all 27 games for the Gamecocks over the past two seasons, including all 14 at center a year ago when he earned postseason All-SEC recognition by Rivals.com and Phil Steele.
Watkins is a 6-4, 319-pound senior offensive lineman from Fairburn, Ga., who is in his third season in the Garnet & Black after beginning his collegiate career at Georgia Military College. He started all 14 games at guard last season, but enters the 2011 campaign penciled in as the probable starter at right tackle.
Eighty-seven players made the preseason list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is awarded annually to the nation’s best defensive player by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
Every NCAA Division I Bowl Subdivision conference and Notre Dame are represented on the list that is pretty evenly divided among linemen, linebackers and defensive backs.
Players may be added or deleted from the Bronko Nagurski Watch List during the season. For the 11th straight season, the FWAA will choose a National Defensive Player of the Week. If that player is not on the Watch List, he automatically will be added. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 17.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner is chosen from five finalists who are part of the FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects the 25-man team and eventually the Bronko Nagurski finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner, the best defensive player in America.
The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet will be on Dec. 12 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. Besides the 2011 winner being announced, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award presented by Florida East Coast Railway. Florida’s Jack Youngblood, an end from the FWAA’s 1970 All-American team, will be honored. Georgia head coach Mark Richt will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.
The list for the annual Outland Trophy, which honors the nation’s top interior lineman, includes only tackles, guards and centers on both sides of the ball. Of the 65 players on the watch list, 16 defensive tackles occupied spots. The rest of the linemen were on offense.
The Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists who are part of the FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects the 25-man team and eventually the three Outland finalists to be named on Nov. 21. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner.
The Outland Trophy, presented annually since 1946, is the third oldest award in major college football. The winner of the 66th Outland Trophy, named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn and Kansas at the turn of the century, will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 8 on ESPN.
The Outland Trophy presentation banquet, sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee, will be held on Jan. 12, 2012, in Omaha, Neb.
**INFO FROM USC SID**