NOTE: CollegeFootballPoll.com's Dave Congrove is a nominating member of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
DALLAS (FWAA) – Posting a team-high 11 tackles on a defense that held LSU to only 49 rushing yards and coming up with a decisive pass break-up on what could be a season-changing goal-line stand, Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton has earned the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games in the weekend of Oct. 10, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.
Bolton, a 6-0, 232-pound junior from Frisco, Texas, is the first Missouri player since 2007 to earn the Bronko Naguarski National Defensive Player of the Week Award and only the third Tigers player to be so recognized.
The decisive series in Missouri's 45-41 home win saw it stand firm in the final minute from its one-yard line for four consecutive plays. Following two run-stops at the line, Bolton broke up a third-down pass to set up a climactic fourth down pass, which was also knocked away, this time by safety Joshuah Bledsoe. Four of Bolton's 11 tackles came in the fourth quarter and he had three pass breakups in the game.
The team captain is now tied for second in the nation in tackles per game (12.0) but ties for the national lead among players with three or more games. His 36 total tackles tie him for seventh overall nationally. Bolton entered last Saturday's game coming off a career-high 17-tackle performance Oct. 3 against Tennessee that was Mizzou's second-highest tackle count since 2000.
Bolton is a member of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. Missouri has had two finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy in its past, defensive end Michael Sam in 2013 and defensive end Justin Smith in 2000.
Missouri has postponed its game hosting Vanderbilt this Saturday. The Tigers are next scheduled to play at Florida on Oct. 24.
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 three finalists for the 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy later this season. The national defensive player of the year will be chosen from those 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
• Weekend of Sept. 19: Tavante Beckett, LB, Marshall
• Weekend of Sept. 26: Jahron McPherson, S, Kansas State
• Weekend of Oct. 3: Bumper Pool, LB, Arkansas
• Weekend of Oct. 10: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri