LOGAN, Utah – Utah State football player Bobby Wagner was named to the 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List, one of 87 players on the list for the trophy that is awarded annually to the nation’s best defensive player by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.Wagner is the first Utah State player on the Nagurski Trophy Watch List since Brent Passey in 2000. Additionally, Wagner is one of three Western Athletic Conference players on the 2011 list, joined by Fresno State defensive tackle Logan Harrell and Nevada linebacker James-Michael Johnson. Wagner is the lone player from a Utah school on the list.”Preseason honors are not always seen as important by some people, but to me it is very important to the team and player because they are recognized and honored for their hard work in the off season and past season,” USU head coach Gary Andersen. “We are very happy for Bobby. He is very deserving of this honor, and we’re glad he is recognized for his hard work. He is working hard this offseason and we are looking forward to him finishing the offseason in the right way and ready for another big season.”Wagner, a native of Ontario, Calif. (Colony HS) is a two-time first-team all-WAC honoree. Last season, he led the WAC and was tied for seventh in FBS with 11.1 tackles per game, ranking second in the WAC with 133 total tackles in 2010 season. Wagner enters his senior season nearing USU’s and WAC’s career tackles list, as he currently has 299 career stops, needing 22 tackles to break into the Aggies’ top 10 list and 18 stop to crack the WAC’s top 10. In 2010, Wagner tallied a WAC-best four 15+ tackle outings, including two 17-stop games, a 16-tackle game and a 15-tackle outing. On the season, he logged a total of seven double-digit tackle games, and had at least six stops in all 12 games. Additionally, Wagner added eight tackles for loss with half a sack, as well as four pass breakups and one forced fumble. Click here to find out more! “It is a tremendous honor to be recognized as one of the top defensive players in the country. I am very humbled by this honor,” Wagner said. “I know that I just have to continue to work hard this season.”Players may be added or deleted from the Bronko Nagurski Watch List during the season. For the 11th-straight season, the FWAA will choose a National Defensive Player of the Week. If that player is not on the Watch List, he automatically will be added. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 17.The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner is chosen from five finalists who are part of the FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-American Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects the 25-man team and eventually the Bronko Nagurski finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner, the best defensive player in America.The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet will be on Dec. 12 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. Besides the 2011 winner being announced, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award presented by Florida East Coast Railway. Florida’s Jack Youngblood, an end from the FWAA’s 1970 All-American team, will be honored. Georgia head coach Mark Richt will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.Wagner is of Utah State’s 46 returning letterwinners (28 offense, 17 defense, one special teams), including 16 starters (nine offense, six defense, one special teams), from last season’s 4-8 overall mark, and 2-6 in WAC play, in head coach Gary Andersen’s second season at the helm of the Aggie program.After its season-opener at Auburn on Saturday, Sept. 3, Utah State’s home opener is on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. (MT), taking on in-state foe Weber State, marking the first time that USU and WSU have squared off since 2001, and Utah State leads the all-time series, 11-1. The Aggie-Wildcat match-up will have special meaning for Andersen, who will be facing his mentor, Weber State head coach Ron McBride. Andersen played for McBride at Utah in 1985-86.For USU football ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.-USU-
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