Awards watch: Nagurski eyes three Bucks
July, 11, 2013
By Austin Ward | ESPN.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The wait is almost over. The season is finally creeping up again, and the annual release of preseason watch lists for the biggest awards in college football confirms it -- and helps provide a useful distraction during the final month leading up to the start of training camp. BuckeyeNation will be tracking all the Ohio State players being tracked by the various committees and will be handicapping their odds of bringing trophies back to campus along the way.
BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY
Greg Bartram/US PresswireChristian Bryant (2) and Ryan Shazier (10), along with Bradley Roby, have a chance to compete for the Nagurski Trophy.
- What: The national defensive player of the year
- On the list: Ohio State safety Christian Bryant, cornerback Bradley Roby and linebacker Ryan Shazier
- Credentials: The spotlight has already been shining brightly on Roby and Shazier for awards for top defenders, but this time a little bit of attention is spilling over for Bryant. Despite numbers that put him among the most prolific producers on the roster heading into the season, the senior safety has often been overlooked. In fact, he might be better known for his trash talk and a handful of personal fouls last season than for a tackle total that ranked second only to Shazier and his four forced turnovers. Bryant isn't likely to climb above either Roby or Shazier in the minds of voters for national awards, and he probably won't be any higher than third as a defensive MVP for the Buckeyes at the end of the season. But that's not a problem for Ohio State, obviously, because he makes for a pretty talented No. 3.
- Head to head: Showcase opportunities against other defenders being watched by the committee at this point -- Ricardo Allen (Purdue), Deion Barnes (Penn State), Chris Borland (Wisconsin), Jonathan Brown (Illinois), Khalil Mack (Buffalo), James Morris (Iowa), Tyler Scott (Northwestern).
- Odds: Shazier has the best chance to rack up the kind of statistics needed to impress voters, and based on what he did while spending half of the season somewhat slowed by injury, the junior should be able to do just that. Truthfully, he had the numbers of an award-winning linebacker a year ago, but few people nationally seemed to take much notice. That won't be the case this season as a centerpiece for a team coming off an unbeaten season and looking to compete for a national title. That, and the combination of his past success, Ohio State's record and increased offseason hype, could vault Shazier into contention for hardware.
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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35