July 10, 2015
Tech well represented on Nagurski and Outland Trophy watch lists
Tackles Corey Marshall and Luther Maddy made the list for both awards

Five Virginia Tech players made the 2015 watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and three made the list for the Outland Trophy, as the Football Writers Association of America released both watch lists Friday.

The Nagurski Trophy goes annually to the best defensive player in college football as judged by the FWAA and presented by both the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club. Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2014 FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s entire membership, selects the 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski finalists. The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Dec. 7 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte.

The Outland Trophy goes annually to the best interior lineman in college football. The winner is chosen from three finalists who are a part of the FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects the 26-man first team and eventually the three Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner. Only interior linemen on offense or defense are eligible for the award. Ends are not eligible.

The winner of the Outland Trophy, named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn at the turn of the 20th century, will be announced on ESPN on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 10 for the first time from the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

The five Tech players on the watch list for the Nagurski Trophy include tackles Corey Marshall and Luther Maddy, ends Ken Ekanem and Dadi Nicolas and cornerback Kendall Fuller.

Marshall, a native of North Dinwiddie, Virginia, earned second-team All-ACC honors from the league’s coaches after last season and third-team honors from the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. The rising redshirt senior played in 12 games, starting nine of those, and finished with 41 tackles, including 9.5 for a loss. He also had 2.5 sacks and an interception. His best performance came in the Hokies’ win over rival Virginia in which he had six tackles and two sacks.

Maddy earned honorable mention All-ACC honors from both the league’s coaches and ACSMA despite playing in just four games a year ago. The Delray Beach, Florida native injured his right knee against East Carolina and later underwent surgery that cost him the remainder of the season. He recorded nine tackles on the season.

Maddy, a redshirt senior, was a third-team All-ACC selection as a junior after recording 55 tackles, including 13.5 for a loss. He also added 6.5 sacks.

Ekanem quietly led the Hokies with 9.5 sacks a year ago on his way to garnering third-team All-ACC honors from ACSMA. The redshirt junior from Centreville, Virginia, started all 13 games and recorded 53 tackles, including 14.5 for a loss, on the season. He had three sacks in Tech’s win over North Carolina and two sacks in the Hokies’ regular-season finale against Virginia.

Nicolas, from Delray Beach, Florida, earned second-team All-ACC honors a year ago by both ACSMA and the league’s coaches. He tied for fourth on the team with 72 tackles (33 solo). He also led the team in tackles for a loss (18.5) and finished second on the team with nine sacks. His 35 hurries also led the squad, and he blocked two kicks to lead the team.

Fuller, a Baltimore, Maryland, native, was a second-team All-American a year ago (Walter Camp, Fox Sports and USA Today) and a first-team All-ACC choice by both ACSMA and the league’s coaches. He started all 13 games as a sophomore and had 54 tackles (32 solo), including 4.5 for a loss. He also had two interceptions and two sacks.

Maddy and Marshall also made the watch list for the Outland Trophy, along with offensive guard Wyatt Teller. Teller’s insertion into the starting lineup midway through last season stabilized Tech’s offensive line and led the way to the Hokies’ winning three of their final four games. The redshirt sophomore from Bealeton, Virginia, started the final six games and logged 629 plays on the season. He recorded 10 knockdown blocks against BC, 11 against Duke and nine against Virginia.

The Hokies open the 2015 season against Ohio State on Sept. 7. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m.

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