DALLAS (FWAA) – Northwestern linebacker Paddy Fisher recorded 17 tackles and forced two fumbles in the Wildcats’ wild 39-31 overtime win against No. 16 Michigan State. Fisher’s 14 solo tackles are the most by any player in the Football Bowl Subdivision this season and his performance has earned him the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 28.
The 14 solo tackles were a career high for Fisher, a 6-foot-4, 245-pound redshirt first-year player from Katy, Texas. The 14 solos is the second-highest single-game total in Northwestern history and the most since 2005, when Tim McGarigle had 15 against Wisconsin. Fisher has the 10th- and 14th-best tackle performances in the FBS this season, including an 18-tackle game at Duke. Only two other FBS players – Buffalo’s Khalil Hodge and San Jose State’s Frank Ginda – have two games of at least 17 tackles.
Fisher forced fumbles on back-to-back plays in the first quarter, the second of which was recovered by Northwestern’s Brett Walsh at the Wildcats’ 7-yard line. His three forced fumbles this season are tied for second in program history, and are one short of the record. He has also recovered a fumble.
Through eight games, he leads Northwestern with 73 tackles – 44 of them unassissted – and has 5.5 tackles for loss for minus-17 yards.
Each Tuesday during the regular season, the FWAA has selected a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001. Fisher will be added to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Wed., Nov. 15. The winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2017 FWAA All-America Team.
The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s entire membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalists. The committee members then select the winner as the best defensive player in college football.
The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Mon., Dec. 4 at the Charlotte Convention Center. In addition to the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner’s announcement, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by the CTC and Florida East Coast Railway.
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.
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