Temple’s Tyler Matakevich wins Bronko Nagurski Award

The Temple Owls are in their best season ever, and with that, there was a lot of good individual performances. Senior linebacker Tyler Matakevich had won the Bronko Nagurski Award.

This award is given out to the top defensive player in the FBS. ESPN will make it official on Thursday at the College Football Awards from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.

He’s the only player at the FBS level to lead his team in tackles every single game. He had 126 tackles on the season.

He has 481 career tackles. He’s had a 101 or more tackles each season (101, 137, 117 and 126). He had a career-best 106 solo tackles as a sophomore in 2013.

Since 2005, he has the most solo tackles in an NCAA career. His 481 tackles are the third-most in a career, as well.

He beat out Duke‘s Jeremy Cash, Alabama‘s Reggie Ragland, Clemson‘s Shaq Lawson and Penn State‘s Carl Nassib for the award.

Ragland and Nassib are considered two of the most impactful players on the defensive side of the ball in college football this season. It’s nice to see Matakevich get recognized after a stellar career at Temple, and the past three seasons being often-overlooked because of the team’s record.

Cash has a 18 tackles-for-loss for a safety at Duke. Plus, Lawson is a part of the Tigers’ Brent Venables defense that has smothered teams this season.

He was also named the Walter Camp Connecticut Player of the Year.

He’s the first Temple player to ever win this award that’s presented by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America.

Temple joins 13 different schools to have just one winner of this award. Five teams, including the Arizona Wildcats, Miami (FL) Hurricanes, Northwestern Wildcats, Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns have two winners each.

Matakevich is the second player to win this award in the past three years from the State of Pennsylvania. In 2013, Pittsburgh Panthers defensive tackle Aaron Donald won the award.

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