DURHAM, N.C. – For the first time in his career, Duke junior defensive end Victor Dimukeje has been named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Preseason Watch List. The award honors the nation’s top defensive player.
It is the second watch list honor for Dimukeje, who is on the preseason list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, an honor given annually to the top defensive player in the nation by the Maxwell Football Club.
A preseason All-ACC selection by Athlon Sports (3rd team) and Phil Steele’s College Football Preview (3rd team), Dimukeje started all 26 games of his Duke career. The 6-2, 265-pound Baltimore product owns 82 career tackles, 16.5 tackles for lost yardage, 5.5 sacks, one interception, two caused fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one pass breakup and 13 quarterback pressures.
One of three defensive players in Duke history to start multiple bowl game victories (2017 Quick Lane and 2018 Walk-On’s Independence), Dimukeje received the 2018 Mike McGee Award as the team’s top defensive lineman. He is one of 14 returning players in the ACC who carded 8.5 or more TFL in 2018. He also joins Miami’s Michael Pinckney and Wake Forest’s Justin Strnad as the ACC’s only returnees who have recorded 7.5 or more TFL in each of the last two years.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from five finalists. The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s full membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski Trophy finalists. Committee members, by individual ballot, select the winner they regard as the best defensive player in college football.
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.
Duke season tickets are available online at www.GoDuke.com/FootballTix or by calling the Duke Athletic Ticket Office at 919-681-2583.
Duke Players on 2019 NCFAA Watch Lists
Bednarik Award: Victor Dimukeje
Doak Walker Award: Brittain Brown and Deon Jackson
Mackey Award: Noah Gray
Rimington Trophy: Jack Wohlabaugh
Nagurski Trophy: Victor Dimukeje