Connecticut Linebacker Yawin Smallwood Named Nagurski National Defensive Player Of The Week

EAST HARTFORD, CT - NOVEMBER 26: Yawin Smallwood #33 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates after he recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on November 26, 2011 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. The Connecticut Huskies defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 40-22. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Here's the official release from the Football Writer's Association of America's naming Yawin Smallwood of Connecticut the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week. You can also read the release here.

DALLAS (FWAA) – Connecticut inside linebacker Yawin Smallwood has been named the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week for games of the weekend of Sept. 15.

In the Huskies' 24-21 victory at Maryland, Smallwood made 14 tackles (five more than any other player in the game). Those tackles included 3.5 for losses. He also forced a fumble that led to a Connecticut field goal. The 6-3, 235-pound Smallwood is tied for the major-college lead in tackles for loss per game (3.0) after three games. He is eighth nationally in sacks (1.3 a game).

Smallwood, a sophomore from Worcester, Mass., will be added to the 2012 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. Five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy will be announced by the Football Writers Association of America on Nov. 15. The winner will be revealed on Dec. 3 during a banquet that the Charlotte Touchdown Club sponsors at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.

Each Tuesday during the 2012 season the FWAA All-America Committee will select a national defensive player of the week from nominations made by the 11 Division I Bowl Subdivision conferences and major independents.

The FWAA has sponsored a National Defensive Player of the Year award since 1993 and has named a National Defensive Player of the Week since the 2001 season. Last year, Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly won the coveted Bronko Nagurski Trophy at season's end.

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