Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Davis Wins National Award

Georgia senior defensive tackle Jordan Davis bolstered a defensive wall against a usually-prolific Clemson offense, drawing consistent double- and sometimes triple-teams. That attention allowed other Dawgs to become playmakers as Georgia registered seven sacks and a defensive touchdown while holding Clemson to two yards rushing and keeping the Tigers out of the end zone in a 10-3 win in a battle of top five teams. For anchoring the nation's top defensive effort in the season's first week, Davis earned the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Sept. 4, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.
Playing in his hometown of Charlotte, N.C., the 6-6, 340-pound Davis pushed through for three tackles in the game and one sack, the sixth of his career, and was one of six Georgia players to record a sack. Georgia held Clemson to 90 yards in the first half (1 rushing, 89 passing), and held Clemson scoreless at halftime for the first time in its last 143 games. The blanking continued through three quarters and the Dawgs also snapped Clemson's 400-yard total-offense streak at 12 games, yielding only 180 total yards.

"Two on me means somebody's free," Davis told ESPN's Holly Rowe in a postgame on-field interview. "I know that's going to free up a linebacker or another defensive lineman. It's amazing they have that type of respect for me. We came out here and played the game we were supposed to play."

Georgia is well represented in Bronko Nagurski Trophy history. The Dawgs have had a finalist in two of the last four seasons (safety J.R. Reed in 2019 and linebacker Roquan Smith in 2017), six finalists overall and one former winner (Champ Bailey in 1998). Davis, however, is the first Dawg to earn this weekly honor since 2012 when linebacker Jarvis Jones won his third weekly award (twice in 2012, once in 2011). Davis is on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy preseason watch list.

Each Tuesday during the regular season, the FWAA has selected a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce three finalists for the 2021 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 17. The national defensive player of the year will be chosen from those finalists who are part of the 2021 FWAA All-America Team and presented with the trophy at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet presented by LendingTree on Dec. 6 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.

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