List of Bronko Nagurski Trophy Winners by Year

    The Bronko Nagurski Trophy has been honoring the best defensive player in college football since 1993, and we have all the winners listed since then.

    Named after the legendary Minnesota Gophers and Chicago Bears player, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy honors the best defensive player in college football, as decided by the Football Writers Association of America.

    The trophy has been awarded annually since 1993, and all the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winners are listed by year below.

    Bronko Nagurski Trophy Winners Listed by Year

    • 2023 – Xavier Watts, S, Notre Dame
    • 2022 – Will Anderson Jr., OLB, Alabama
    • 2021 – Will Anderson Jr., OLB, Alabama
    • 2020 – Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
    • 2019 – Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
    • 2018 – Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky
    • 2017 – Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State
    • 2016 – Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
    • 2015 – Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple
    • 2014 – Scooby Wright III, LB, Arizona
    • 2013 – Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
    • 2012 – Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
    • 2011 – Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
    • 2010 – Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
    • 2009 – Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
    • 2008 – Brian Orakpo, LB, Texas
    • 2007 – Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
    • 2006 – James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State
    • 2005 – Elvis Dumervil, DE, Louisville
    • 2004 – Derrick Johnson, LB, Texas
    • 2003 – Derrick Strait, CB, Oklahoma
    • 2002 – Terrell Suggs, DE, Arizona State
    • 2001 – Roy Williams, S, Oklahoma
    • 2000 – Dan Morgan, LB, Miami (FL)
    • 1999 – Corey Moore, LB, Virginia Tech
    • 1998 – Champ Bailey, CB, Georgia
    • 1997 – Charles Woodson, CB, Michigan
    • 1996 – Pat Fitzgerald, LB, Northwestern
    • 1995 – Pat Fitzgerald, LB, Northwestern
    • 1994 – Warren Sapp, DT, Miami (FL)
    • 1993 – Rob Waldrop, DT, Arizona

    In 2023, Notre Dame’s Xavier Watts took home the award. He became the second member of the Fighting Irish to take home the award, joining LB Manti Te’o, who won the award in 2012.

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