Ole Miss’ Tony Conner and Marquis Haynes on Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List
Ole Miss senior defensive back Tony Conner and junior defensive end Marquis Haynes were named to the 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List early Friday morning. The Nagurski Trophy each year is presented to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
This isn’t the first time this week that Conner and Haynes’ names appeared on a preseason watch list. On Monday, both appeared on the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, which is presented to the college defensive player of the year by the Maxwell Football Club.
Conner, 6-foot, 215-pounds, will play a key role in this season’s Landshark defense at the huskie position, especially with the losses of Trae Elston and Mike Hilton.
Conner was lost to a knee injury in 2015 that limited him to just five games; however, in 2014, he had nine tackles for losses which led all the Southeastern Conference defensive backs.
In his 31 career games, Conner has tallied 152 tackles–including 18 tackles for loss. This is the fourth straight season Conner is receiving preseason honors, as he was a Freshman All-American in 2013.
As for Haynes, he’s coming off a solid sophomore campaign where he tied the school record for the most sacks in a season (10). His 10 sacks also ranked fourth in the SEC and his 7.0 sacks against SEC opponents ranked him tied for second in the league.
The Jacksonville, Florida native currently ranks fourth in the SEC with 17.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Last season, Haynes recorded 16.5 tackles for loss and notched 43 total tackles. He was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week three times in 2015.
Finalists announced November 17
The Football Writers Association of America All-America Committee and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce the five finalists for the 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. The winner will be chosen from the five finalists who are part of the 2016 FWAA All-America Team.
The winner will be announced on Dec. 5, 2016 at the annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet at the Charlotte Convention Club.
Click here for the entire 2016 Nagurski Trophy Watch List.
Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men’s basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with Rivals.com. A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.