Texas Longhorns senior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, junior cornerback Quandre Diggs and junior linebacker Jordan Hicks have been named to the watch list for the 2013 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, honoring the national defensive player of the year, the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club have announced.
Two Longhorns have won the Nagurski Trophy in the last nine years, including DE Brian Orakpo in 2008 and LB Derrick Johnson in 2004.
Jeffcoat is a fourth-year defensive lineman who has appeared in 27 games with 20 starts, and has posted at least one sack in 10 of his last 13 games with 12 over that span. He was sidelined for the final seven games of 2012 after suffering a right pectoral muscle rupture vs. Oklahoma.
Jeffcoat was on the Nagurski Trophy watch list in 2012 and has also been named to the 2013 Bednarik Award watch list presented to the college defensive player of the year.
For his career, Jeffcoat has made 117 tackles (59 solo), 14.5 sacks, 38 TFL, 22 quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and five pass break ups. He was named to the 2012 Nagurski Trophy, Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award and CFPA Defensive Lineman of the Year Trophy watch lists. He was named a 2011 second team All-Big 12 selection (Coaches, AP, Kansas City Star, San Antonio Express-News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram) and was tabbed honorable mention Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2010.
Jeffcoat was a prep All-American, two-time first-team all-state and all-area and three-time first-team all-district selection at defensive end for Plano West High School. He was named to PARADE's All-America High School Football Team, earned first-team All-USA honors by USA Today and was an EA SPORTS All-American first-team selection. He was selected to play in the 2010 Army All-American Bowl, was a member of Rivals' top 100 and ESPNU's top 150 national prospects and was ranked as the best defensive end and second-best overall prospect by ESPNU and the best strongside defensive end and 12th-best overall prospect by Rivals. He was also rated as the state's best defensive end by Dave Campbell's Texas Football. Jeffcoat’s father, Jim, was a standout defensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys (1983-94) and Buffalo Bills (1995-97) and is the current assistant coach/defensive line coach at The University of Colorado.
Diggs is a third-year cornerback who has played in 26 career games with 24 consecutive starts. For his career, he has made 113 total tackles (74 solo), eight TFL, eight INT, 22 PBU, three forced fumbles and one sack. He was ranked 10th on the FBS active career interceptions per game list (0.31) at the end of 2012. Diggs has also returned 20 kickoffs for 392 yards and 22 punts for 287 yards. He was named to the 2012 CFPA Punt Returner Trophy watch list and also named second-team All-Big 12 as a punt returner.
Diggs has also been named to the 2013 Paul Hornung Award watch list honoring the most versatile player in major college football.
In his first season at Texas, Diggs tied a Longhorn freshmen record with four interceptions to go with 51 tackles (33 solo), four tackles for loss, 15 pass breakups and two caused fumbles. He was a 2011 CBSSports.com Freshman All-American and was named to the 2011 Yahoo! Sports Freshman All-America First Team and the 2011 FWAA Freshman All-America Team. Diggs was also tabbed the 2011 Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year (Coaches), second team All-Big 12 (Coaches) and honorable mention (AP). He tied a Texas freshmen record with four interceptions. His brother, Quentin Jammer, was a three-year starter and All-America defensive back at Texas (1997-98; 2000-01) and currently plays for the Denver Broncos after spending eleven seasons with the San Diego Chargers (2002-12).
Hicks is a fourth-year linebacker who has appeared in 28 career games with 11 starts. For his career he has tallied 111 tackles (52 solo), two sacks, eight TFL, five PBU, three quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery. He missed seven games in 2012 due to a hip injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the season on Nov. 19. He has four career double-digit tackle games and was named to the 2012 Lombardi Award watch list.
Hicks appeared in 13 games with eight starts in 2011 while recording 65 tackles, four tackles for loss, one sack, one fumble recovery, four pass breakups and one pressure. In 2010 he was named honorable mention Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year after appearing in all 12 games and posting 23 tackles (nine solo), one sack, one TFL and one pressure. He was a prep All-American, two-time first-team all-state, all-county and all-district selection at linebacker and was a three-year starter who was named to PARADE's All-America High School Football Team. He was also named PARADE's top linebacker in the nation, earned first-team All-USA honors by USA Today and was awarded the high school Butkus Award, given to the nation's top high school linebacker. Hicks was named to the 2011 Academic All-Big 12 first team and is a four-time member of UT's Athletics Director's Honor Roll.
Eighty-one players are on this year’s watch list. 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.
With all these players being added to all these 'watch lists', we couldn't help but think of this song: