July 12, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Watch lists for the Outland and Bronko Nagurski trophies were announced Thursday morning and six Florida State football players made the preseason lists.
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
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The Outland Trophy, which goes to the nation’s best interior linemen at season’s end, includes redshirt senior Everett Dawkins and sophomore Timmy Jernigan on its 71-member watch list. Awarded to college football’s best defensive player by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown club, the Bronco Nagurski Trophy’s watch list features senior Brandon Jenkins and juniors Bjoern Werner, Lamarcus Joyner and Xavier Rhodes.
Jenkins, Joyner and Rhodes are repeat watch listers as both ‘Noles are already preseason candidates for the Bednarik Award.
Dawkins enters his fifth year with the program as FSU’s most experienced defensive player, having played in 43 games during his collegiate career. Dawkins is coming off a junior campaign that saw him record 25 tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and a fumble recovery as the anchor of defensive front that limited opposing teams to a nation’s second-best 82.7 yards rushing per game.
Jernigan burst on to the scene as a highly recruited rookie last year as he led all of FSU’s interior linemen in tackles with 30 en route to a Freshman All-American nod. The Lake City native enters his second year with the chance to become a bonafide star on FSU’s talented defense.
Jenkins’ inclusion on another watch list is due to a stellar two-season span of production and game-changing play from his defensive end position. Jenkins has paced the Seminoles with team-highs in tackles for loss and sacks in each of the past two seasons and is widely considered one of the country’s best players at his position.
A reserve cornerback as a freshman, Joyner entrenched himself as FSU’s starting safety and most consistent defensive player last season. The hard-hitting defensive back concluded his sophomore year with a team-best four interceptions to go along with 54 tackles. Joyner is also a standout kick returner.
Rhodes capped off his redshirt sophomore season last year with a strong performance in the Champs Sports Bowl before an injury. In two seasons as the starting boundary cornerback, Rhodes has 101 career tackles — including 85 solo stops — and 17 passes defended. He’s also nabbed five interceptions in that same span.
As for Werner, Florida State’s German-born defensive end may be one of the country’s best players the casual fan doesn’t yet know about. Playing opposite Jenkins as a first-time starter as a sophomore a season ago, Werner knocked down an uncanny eight passes and had an interception while also posting 37 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
Preseason watch-list announcements continue Friday with the unveiling of the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s best defensive back. The announcements then continue every day next week before concluding July 20 with the Walter Camp Award’s preseason list.