Peterson One of Five Nagurski Trophy Finalists
BATON ROUGE - LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson has been named as one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Charlotte Touchdown Club announced on Wednesday.
Established in 1993, the Nagurski Trophy is given annually to the national defensive player of the year in college football by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America. Former LSU standout Glenn Dorsey won the Nagurski Trophy in 2007.
Peterson is joined on the list of finalist by Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, Georgia linebacker Justin Houston, and Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly.
The winner will be announced on Dec. 6 and presented the Bronko Nagurski Trophy at a gala banquet at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.
The FWAA's National Defensive Player of the Year Award is named after Bronko Nagurski, who dominated college football at the University of Minnesota as a bruising fullback and defensive tackle from 1927-29. He could have been an All-American at any position, playing 60 minutes as the best player wherever he lined up.
Peterson, a junior from Pompano Beach, Fla., leads an LSU defense that is ranked first in the Southeastern Conference in total yards allowed (273.6) and passing defense (148.6). The Tigers are second in the league in scoring defense (14.6) and pass efficiency defense (104.3 rating). LSU ranks in the top 10 in the nation in all four categories.
In 10 games this year, Peterson has registered 28 tackles (21 solo) to go with three interceptions, three pass breakups, one quarterback hurry and blocked field goal.
Peterson ranks as one of the nation's top return specialists, ranking second in the SEC and fifth in the nation in punt returns with a 17.6 average. Peterson also rates No. 2 in the league and 21st in the nation in kickoff returns with a 27.0 average. Peterson has returned two punts for touchdowns.
Peterson has been named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week twice this year as well as being selected as the Jim Thorpe Award National Defensive Back of the Week for his performance against Mississippi State.
Peterson has also made the list of semifinalists for the Thorpe Award (top defensive back) and the Bednarik Award (outstanding defensive player).
Peterson and the Tigers return to action on Saturday, hosting Ole Miss at 2:30 p.m. in the home finale for LSU.