LEXINGTON, Ky. –- Another day, another preseason honor for senior safety Mike Edwards, who has been named to the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list today by the Football Writers Association of America. Edwards is one of 97 defensive players considered for defensive player of the year.
The safety from Cincinnati, Ohio led Kentucky and ranked ninth in the Southeastern Conference in tackles per game in 2017 with 7.5. He also had a team-high four interceptions to go along with a team-high seven pass breakups. Edwards is just the fourth player in school history to lead the team in both interceptions and tackles in the same season, joining Darryl Bishop in 1972, Quentus Cumby in 2002 and Danny Trevathan in 2011. After charting a season-high 11 tackles vs. Ole Miss, Edwards now has nine games with double-digit tackles.
Edwards has totaled 236 career tackles and needs just 64 more to become the 19th player in school history with 300 or more tackles, including just the second defensive back.
Edwards is also on the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which is awarded to the top defensive player and the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award which annually recognizes the best defensive back in college football.
Players may be added or removed from the Nagurski watch list during the course of the season. As in previous years, the FWAA will announce a National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday this season. If not already on the watch list, each week’s honored player will be added at that time. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 14.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s full membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski Trophy finalists. Committee members, by individual ballot, select the winner they regard as the best defensive player in college football.