By: Tim Andrzejewski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HOUSTON — Rice senior linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee is one of 103 defensive players to be named to the 2017 Nagurski Trophy Watch list, which was announced on Thursday.
Despite missing one game with an injury, Ellerbee led C-USA and Rice with 10.7 tackles per game, which ranked sixth nationally. His average was the highest by an Owl since 14-year NFL veteran Larry Izzo averaged 11 tackles per game in 1995 (122 in 11 games). His 118 total tackles were second in the conference and matched Brian Raines’ 2006 total for the 10th most in school history. His 70 solo tackles were tied for 14th in the nation.
The FWAA has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated college football and then became a star for professional football’s Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw “Bronko” Nagurski is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
For more on the Nagurski Trophy, visit www.touchdownclub.com.