Lawler Earns Bronko Nagurski Watch List Preseason Recognition

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, July 15th, 2017

image001DALLAS (SMU) – SMU senior Justin Lawler has been named to the Football Writers Association of America’s 2017 Bronko Nagurski Tropy Watch List, the organization announced today. The award honors the best defensive player in FBS football.

The defensive end earned first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors in 2016, making him the first Mustang to do so since Margus Hunt in 2012. Lawler started all 12 games at defensive end, finishing second on the team with 65 tackles while adding seven quarterback hurries, two blocked field goals and a fumble recovery.

Lawler joins 10 student-athletes from The American, and 25 defensive ends from across college football on the list. He is the first Mustang since defensive standout Taylor Thompson (2011) to be named to the list.

Lawler has also earned preseason honors from the Maxwell Club, as a selection for the Bednarik Award Watch List, College Football News and Athlon Sports.

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 on Nov. 16. Committee members, by individual ballot, select the winner they regard as the best defensive player in college football. The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Monday, Dec. 4, at the Charlotte Convention Center.

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, 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.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 23 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit to learn more about our story.

About The FWAA
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,400 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at




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