LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech senior linebacker Dakota Allen collected his third preseason accolade already this summer Tuesday as he was named to the watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is presented annually to the top defensive player in college football.
Allen, already a preseason All-Big 12 selection and a candidate for the Bednarik Award, was one of 96 players named to the watch list by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
One of the top linebackers in the country a year ago, Allen returns for his final season in scarlet and black after recording a team-leading 102 tackles in 2017. He earned All-Big 12 second team honors by the conference coaches and the Associated Press and then first team accolades by Pro Football Focus.
Allen, a product of Humble, Texas, was elected a team captain shortly after his return to campus last summer where he immediately went to work leading a Tech defense that ranked among the nation’s leaders in takeaways. Allen, himself, posted two interceptions to go along with a forced fumble and fumble recovery as part of the Red Raiders’ 29 forced turnovers on the year.
Players may be added or removed from the Nagurski watch list throughout the season. As in previous seasons, the FWAA will announce a National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday with the winner automatically earning a spot on the watch list if he was not already included.
The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 14. The winner will be chosen from that list of five finalists ahead of the Dec. 3 trophy banquet held at the Charlotte Convention Center.
Allen and the Red Raiders are approximately 39 days away from opening the 2018 season on Sept. 1 against Ole Miss in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff. Kickoff from NRG Stadium in Houston is slated for 11 a.m. CT with coverage provided nationally on ESPN and the Texas Tech Sports Network.