Since the Football Writers Association of America began handing out Bronko Nagurski Trophies in 1993, the award has been bestowed upon an Underdog just once – last year to the legendary Tyler Matakevich of the Temple Owls. Will the Underdogs win again to start a powerful, Bronko Nagurski dynasty?
Unlikely. Of the 88 players selected for the watch list, only 13 are Underdogs. If you're the SEC, you're gonna love you some Bronko Nagurski, because the wealthiest conference in the universe owns 30% of the list (more than twice the number of the Underdogs combined). Here's how it breaks down, per the Bronko Nagurski folks:
The Southeastern Conference led all conferences with 27 players, followed by the Big Ten (13), Pac-12 (13), ACC (11), Big 12 (10), Mid-American (4), Mountain West (3), American Athletic (2), Conference USA (2), Sun Belt (1) and Independents (2). Alabama and LSU each had five players on the list, which included 31 backs, 29 linebackers, 21 ends and seven tackles.
Because I'm both incredibly handsome, generous and modest, I've extrapolated the Underdogs from the privileged for your pleasure.
Underdogs who appear on the 2016 Bronko Nagurski Watch List
Treyvon Hester, Toledo Rockets, DT
Shane Huber, Massachusetts Minutemen, LB
Andrew King, Army Black Knights, LB
Shawun Lurry, Northern Illinois Huskies, DB
Jamal Marcus, Akron Zips, DE
Calvin Munson, San Diego State Aztecs, LB
TJ Ricks, Old Dominion Monarchs, LB
Ja'Von Rolland-Jones, Arkansas State Red Wolves, DE
Weston Steelhammer, Air Force Falcons, DB
Steven Taylor, Houston Cougars, LB
Tanner Vallejo, Boise State Broncos, LB
Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, DB