WKU junior linebacker Andrew Jackson has been selected to the watch list for the 2013 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented annually to the National Defensive Player of the Year by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America.
Of the 81 players selected to the list, Jackson is the only player from the Sun Belt Conference and one of 27 linebackers across the nation to make the list.
It is the fifth such watch list honor for a WKU player this season and second for Jackson. Jackson was previously named to the Bednarik Award watch list while senior running back Antonio Andrews has made the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award and Maxwell Award. Senior center Sean Conway is a watch list selection for the Rimington Trophy.
One of the players on the watch list most likely will be awarded the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented annually to the national defensive player of the year by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club. Every NCAA Division I Bowl Subdivision conference and several independents are represented on the list that is evenly divided among linemen, linebackers and defensive backs. Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season.
Once again, the FWAA will choose a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday throughout the season. If not already on the watch list, the honored player will be added at that time. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2013 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 21. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2013 FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s entire membership, selects the 25-man All-America Team and eventually the 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 held on Dec. 9 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte. In addition to the 2013 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner announcement, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by the CTC and Florida East Coast Railway. Georgia Tech’s Randy Rhino, a member of the FWAA’s 1972 All-America team, will be honored. Florida head coach Will Muschamp will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.
The FWAA has named 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.
PETRINO, POLANCO TO REPRESENT WKU AT SUN BELT MEDIA DAY: WKU Football will be represented by head coach Bobby Petrino and senior offensive lineman Luis Polanco at Sun Belt Conference Media Day on Monday in New Orleans. Complete coverage of the event will be available through www.wkusports.com, including video through WKU’s YouTube channel.
Polanco started 11 of 12 games played at left guard in 2012 in helping WKU hold a 1,500 yard rusher for the third straight season. He aided running back Antonio Andrews to a single-season WKU record 1,728 rushing yards, including another school-record 10 100-yard rushing performances. Polanco blocked for quarterback Kawaun Jakes, who set WKU’s single-season record for passing touchdowns (22). He helped Andrews eclipse the 200-yard rushing mark in two conference road games, at Arkansas State on Sept. 29 and at Louisiana-Lafayette on Nov. 17. Against North Texas on Nov. 24, Polanco enabled Andrews to churn out 230 yards, 120 of which came in the fourth quarter.
PETRINO TO APPEAR ON ESPN3’S SUN BELT MEDIA DAY COVERAGE: WKU Football head coach Bobby Petrino will appear on ESPN3’s coverage of Sun Belt Conference Media Day from New Orleans on Monday. Cole Wright will serve as the host for the event and Sun Belt Network football commentator Cole Cubelic will serve as the show's analyst.
The collaboration with ESPN3 for media day will mark the second consecutive year that the Sun Belt Conference has distributed the event to a national audience. The media day look-in will being at 1 p.m. (CT) and include interviews with all eight league head coaches, an exclusive interview with Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson, as well as interviews with future Sun Belt coaches Scott Satterfield of Appalachian State, Jeff Monken of Georgia Southern, Paul Petrino of Idaho and Doug Martin of New Mexico State.
UNIFORMS TO BE UNVEILED NEXT WEEK: WKU will reveal new football uniforms for the 2013 season next week on July 18, 2013 during the Big Red Rally & Reveal, presented by Alumni Hall, at Greenwood Mall in Bowling Green at 6:00 p.m. CT. The new uniforms are made by WKU’s apparel provider Russell Athletic. The event is being held in the jcpenny Court at Greenwood Mall. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the unveiling of the new uniforms.
Following the unveiling of the new uniforms, WKU head coach Bobby Petrino, select assistant coaches and special guests will be on hand to sign autographs from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. A question and answer session with the assembled members of the coaching staff will follow until 8:00 p.m. WKU Cheerleaders, Topperettes and Big Red will also be in attendance at the event. The first 500 fans will receive a free WKU/Russell drawstring bag at the event. Fans will also have the chance to pick up the new football schedule poster for the 2013 season.
TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR UK GAME, HOME SCHEDULE: Season tickets for the 2013 home football schedule are on sale now through WKUSports.com, by visiting the WKU Ticket Office in E.A. Diddle Arena or by calling 1-800-5 BIG RED.
In addition to season tickets, single game tickets for the game with Kentucky in Nashville on Aug. 31 at 6:00 p.m. CT are currently on sale. Tickets are priced at $67 for club level, $47 for lower level sideline, $32 for upper sideline and $22 for upper corner. To ensure seating in the WKU fan sections, all fans are encouraged to order tickets through the WKU Ticket Office. General public tickets may be ordered online at WKUSports.com or by calling 1-800-5-BIG RED or 270-745-5222 locally. Parking passes for this game may be ordered through Ticketmaster.com or through the WKU Ticket Office. The first 4,000 WKU students at the game on August 31 with a valid ID will receive a free ticket to the game. After 4,000, student tickets will be $13.
For complete coverage of WKU Football, visit www.wkusports.com, or follow the program on Twitter via @WKU_Football or @CoachPetrinoWKU.
Upcoming WKU Football Calendar of Events
July 15 – Sun Belt Conference Media Day (New Orleans, Louisiana)
July 18 – Big Red Rally & Reveal at Greenwood Mall from 6:00-8:00 p.m. CT
August 17 – Football Fan Fest (formerly Family Fun Day) at Knicely Conference Center on WKU’s South Campus from 2-4pm CT
August 31 – WKU vs. Kentucky at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. at 6:00 p.m. CT