Smallwood Goes National

Smallwood Goes National

Connecticut linebacker Yawin Smallwood continues to receive awards for his outstanding play this year. Monday he was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year. Tuesday, Smallwood went national. He was been named the Football Writers Association of America/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week for games of the weekend of Sept. 15.

Here's the FWAA press release:

DALLAS (FWAA) – Connecticut inside linebacker Yawin Smallwood has been named the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week for games of the weekend of Sept. 15.

In the Huskies' 24-21 victory at Maryland, Smallwood made 14 tackles (five more than any other player in the game). Those tackles included 3.5 for losses. He also forced a fumble that led to a Connecticut field goal. The 6-3, 235-pound Smallwood is tied for the major-college lead in tackles for loss per game (3.0) after three games. He is eighth nationally in sacks (1.3 a game).

Smallwood, a sophomore from Worcester, Mass., will be added to the 2012 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. Five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy will be announced by the Football Writers Association of America on Nov. 15. The winner will be revealed on Dec. 3 during a banquet that the Charlotte Touchdown Club sponsors at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.

Each Tuesday during the 2012 season the FWAA All-America Committee will select a national defensive player of the week from nominations made by the 11 Division I Bowl Subdivision conferences and major independents.

The FWAA has sponsored a National Defensive Player of the Year award since 1993 and has named a National Defensive Player of the Week since the 2001 season. Last year, Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly won the coveted Bronko Nagurski Trophy at season's end.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is given in memory of the legendary All-American lineman at Minnesota (1927-29). Nagurski dominated college football at Minnesota as a bruising fullback and defensive tackle and could have been an All-America at any position. He then became a star for professional football's Chicago Bears in the 1930s.

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. For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or jrocco@touchdownclub.com). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is www.touchdownclub.com.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,300 men and women who cover college football for a living. 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 gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at tigerfwaa@aol.com or 972-713-6198.

2012 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week

• Sept. 1: Derrick Wells, Minnesota

• Sept. 8: Jarvis Jones, Georgia

• Sept. 15: Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut

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