NOTE: CollegeFootballPoll.com's Dave Congrove is a nominating member of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
DALLAS (FWAA) – Georgia Tech defensive end Curtis Ryans broke loose to make two sacks and forced a fumble in the fourth quarter of the Yellow Jackets' 16-13 win at Florida State, pivotal plays that helped Tech post its fourth straight regular-season win over the Seminoles and earn Ryans the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games in the weekend of Sept. 12, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.
Ryans, a 6-5, 265-pound sophomore from Kennesaw, Ga., is the fourth Georgia Tech player to receive the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor and the first in nine seasons (linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu in 2011).
The two sacks were the firsts of Ryans' career and came on back-to-back plays midway through the fourth quarter. Tied at 13, the game turned for good when Ryans sacked FSU quarterback James Blackman and forced a fumble that Tech recovered and returned to the Seminoles' 11-yard line. Jude Kelley hit the 32-yard go-ahead field goal four plays later.
Ryans then forced a second fumble – setting another career high – that Tech recovered at its own 35, killing FSU's final threat. He had a career-high four total tackles as the Yellow Jackets won for only the second time in eight all-time games in Tallahassee. The win was Georgia Tech's first in a true road game to open a season since a 33-3 win at Notre Dame in 2007.
Ryans will be added to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. No Georgia Tech player has ever been a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
Each Tuesday during the regular season, the FWAA has selected a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy later this season. The national defensive player of the year will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2020 FWAA All-America Team.
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 1,400 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team.
About the Charlotte Touchdown Club
The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, N.C., region. The club's activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship, scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and coaches. Since 1990, the club has raised more than $2 million to benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.com.
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2020 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
• Weekend of Sept. 5: Isaiah Kaufusi, LB, BYU
• Weekend of Sept. 12: Curtis Ryans, DE, Georgia Tech