20 Nov

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Texas Football: Malcom Brown a Finalist for Bronko Nagurski Trophy | Horns Illustrated

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From our friends at www.TexasSports.com.

CHARLOTTE – Malcom Brown has been named a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which honors the nation's most outstanding defensive player.

The junior is one of five finalists and the lone defensive lineman. Defensive backs Landon Collins (Alabama), Senquez Golson (Ole Miss) and Gerod Holliman (Louisville), and linebacker Scooby Wright (Arizona) join Brown on the list.

Brown, who was named to the ESPN and SI.com Midseason All-America teams, leads the team in tackles for loss (14), sacks (6.5) and forced fumbles (2), and is tied for the team lead in QB pressures. He ranks eighth (first among defensive tackles) in the Big 12 in sacks (0.59 per game). He is also eighth nationally among defensive tackles in sacks and has recorded 66 tackles on the season.

Brown is the third Nagurski finalist in school history, joining Derrick Johnson (2004) and Brian Orakpo (2008), both of whom won the award. The 2014 winner will be announced Dec. 8.

"I'm really excited. It's been a lifelong dream to be up for an award like the Nagurski," Brown said. "When I first got here, I said I wanted to be remembered and make people proud. I feel like being up for an award like this helps me do that. Derrick Johnson and Brian Orakpo have both won the Nagurski, and it means a lot to be a finalist like them because they're two of the greatest to come through here."

Brown has been one of the leaders of a defense that ranks 29th in the FBS in total yards allowed (346.5 per game), 19th in points allowed (21.0 pg), No. 13 in yards allowed per play (4.59) and eighth in sacks (3.4 pg).

"Malcom is a special player and he's having an unbelievable season," head coach Charlie Strong said. "He does everything you need to do to be great. He worked hard in the offseason, is as relentless in practice as he is in games, plays at an extremely high level and studies and prepares for every game. He also handles himself in the classroom and off the field. We're really excited that he's been selected as a Nagurski Trophy finalist."

A native of Brenham, Texas, Brown realizes that his success would not be possible without contributions from his teammates. Texas is one of just two teams in the nation (also Stanford) that has four players with 4.5 or more sacks and three players have registered three interceptions this season.

"It just feels really good to know that I'm even being thought of as one of the best defensive players in college football, but I couldn't have done anything without my teammates," Brown said. "They've helped me with the plays I've made, and with so many threats on our defense, an offense can't focus on game planning any one guy. They've contributed a lot to this, and I owe everything to them and the coaches who have pushed me to be my best and motivate me every week."

Brown is on pace to lead the team in tackles for loss and sacks. The last defensive tackle to lead the Longhorns in both categories was Tony Degrate in 1984, the year he won the Lombardi Award.

The Charlotte Touchdown Club will hold at the Bronko Nagurski Awards banquet at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte. CBS Sports Network will air the event on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. Central.

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.