Arizona LB Scooby Wright wins Bronko Nagurski Trophy
The man who calls himself @TwoStarScoob on Twitter has been crowned as college football’s top defensive player. Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright was given the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, honoring the nation’s best defender, on Monday night by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
“Coming out of high school, I didn’t really have too many colleges knocking on my door -- actually nobody really wanted me except Arizona,” Wright told ESPN.com. “So I always have that little chip on my shoulder. You always remember those people who didn’t think you were good enough. It still motivates me to this day.”
Wright is also a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year award and the Rotary Lombardi Award.
After collecting 89 tackles as a freshman, Wright became the first sophomore to ever win the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2014 by posting college football’s most ridiculous stat line south of Eugene, Ore.: 153 tackles (second nationally), 14 sacks (third), 27 tackles for loss (first) and six forced fumbles (first).
Wright beat out Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown, Alabama safety Landon Collins, Louisville safety Gerod Holliman and Ole Miss cornerback Senquez Golson for the award.
Wright helped No. 10 Arizona post one of the best seasons in recent memory, as the 10-3 Wildcats are the reigning Pac-12 South champions and will face No. 20 Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
“We had a great year with the program and we haven’t had a 10-win season in a while,” Wright said. “We’re going to the Fiesta Bowl, and that will be good.”
Wright is the first Pac-12 player to claim the honor since Arizona State’s pass rusher extraordinaire Terrell Suggs took it home in 2002. Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald won the award in 2013.