This marks the fourth preseason honor for Brown so far.
July 11, 2013
Charlotte, N.C. - Another day, another preseason honor for Illinois senior linebacker Jonathan Brown. On Thursday, Brown was named to the watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented annually to the national defensive player of the year by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
It marks Brown's second preseason watch list this week, as he was named to the Bednarik Award defensive player of the year list on Monday, and his fourth preseason honor overall heading into the 2013 season, which starts Aug. 31 when the Illini host Southern Illinois. Brown also has been named to the College Football Performance Awards linebacker watch list and was a preseason first-team All-Big Ten selection by Phil Steele.
Brown was a Butkus Award semifinalist and honorable mention All-Big Ten selection in 2012 despite missing the final three games of the season with a shoulder injury and missing significant portions of four other games due to injury. Brown was leading the Illini with 59 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks before having his season cut short. He had a breakout 2011 season, earning All-Big Ten honors with 108 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. He ranked sixth in the nation in TFLs per game (1.63) and led the Big Ten in TFLs per game during conference play (2.07).
The Nagurski Trophy is named for former Minnesota fullback/defensive tackle Bronko Nagurski, who dominated college football from 1927-29. Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o won the award in 2012, while former Illini defensive end Whitney Mercilus was a Nagurski finalist in 2011. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists on Nov. 21. The winner will be announced Dec. 9 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.
2013 Illinois Preseason Honors (as of July 11)
Jonathan Brown, LB - Nagurski Trophy Watch List (Def. POY), Bednarik Award Watch List (Defensive POY), CFPA Linebacker Watch List, First Team All-Big Ten (Phil Steele)
Justin DuVernois, P - Ray Guy Award Watch List (punter), CFPA Punter Watch List, Second Team All-Big Ten (Phil Steele)
Mason Monheim, LB - Fourth Team All-Big Ten (Phil Steele)
Taylor Zalewski, PK - CFPA Specialist Watch List
Season tickets for the 2013 Illinois football season, which includes seven home games, are on sale now for as low as $99. The Fighting Illini also will host the Chicago Homecoming game at historic Soldier Field on Sept. 14 against Washington. Tickets for the Chicago Homecoming game start at $30 and are on sale now.