Tulsa’s Zaven Collins One of Five Finalists for Bronko Nagurski Trophy

The University of Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins was named one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, an award honoring college football’s national defensive player, the Football Writer’s Association of America (FWAA) and the Charlotte Touchdown Club announced today.
One of the most dynamic linebackers in the nation, Collins is the first Tulsa player to be named a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy. The other finalists include: Coastal Carolina defensive end Tarron Jackson, Iowa defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon, Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Kormoah and Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II.
A 6’4” junior from Hominy, Okla., Collins has totaled 51 tackles, 11.5 TFLs for -49 yards, 4 sacks for -25 yards, 4 interceptions, 2 TDs off INTs, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery, as well as one safety. Two of his interceptions were game-clinchers, including a pickoff against No. 19 SMU that ended any possible final scoring drive for the Mustangs and his pick-6 in overtime against Tulane that he took 96 yards for the game-winning score.
Collins was named the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week after his performance in Tulsa’s comeback win over SMU. He totaled 6 tackles, 2 TFLs for -10 yards, one sack for -9 yards and one QB hurry to go along with his game-sealing interception.
Collins has also earned National Defensive Player of the Week honors once each from the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Walter Camp Foundation. He has been named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week four times this season.
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.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.organd @NCFAA on Twitter to learn more about the association.