Memphis Tigers Linebacker Genard Avery Named To Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List

MEMPHIS – Senior linebacker Genard Avery was been named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy preseason watch list, Thursday. The Nagurski Trophy is awarded annually to the football player voted by the membership of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) to be the best defensively in the NCAA. The awarded has been presented every year since 1993 by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the FWAA. The award was named for former University of Minnesota and Chicago Bear Bronko Nagurski in 1995.

 

Avery was a first team, all-American Athletic Conference honoree last season after leading Memphis in tackles for lsos (11-59 yards), sacks (5), and quarterback hurries (6). He also added two interceptions for touchdowns (vs. Bowling Green, vs. Temple) and had five or more tackles in 11 of 13 games, including nine-tackle games at Ole Miss and against eventual conference champs, Temple. On the year, Avery ranked second in total tackles with 81.

 

A native of Grenada, Miss., Avery was named the John Bramlett Defensive Player of the Year by the Memphis coaching staff at the end of last season.  He is one of four linebackers from the American to be named to the 2017 Nagurski Trophy preseason list. He is joined by defending AAC Defensive Player of the Year Shaquem Griffin (UCF), USF’s Auggie Sanchez and Navy’s Micah Thomas.

 

Avery is the fifth Tiger since Monday to earn a spot on a pre-season watch list. Senior quarterback Riley Ferguson started the week as a member of the Maxwell Award Watch List, center Drew Kyser earned a second consecutive Rimington Trophy Watch List spot and on Wednesday, Spencer Smith was one of 29 college punters named to the Ray Guy Watch List and also earned a nomination for the AFCA Good Works Team. Earlier on Thursday, senior offensive lineman Gabe Kuhn was named to the Outland Trophy Watch List.


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