State’s Chubb wins Nagurski Trophy as nation’s top defender

The Wolfpack star adds the national honor to the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award he won last week

NC State's Bradley Chubb accepts the Bronko Nagurski Award as the top defensive player in college football ( photo)

NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb has picked up his biggest individual award to date when he was named the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the top defensive player in college football.

The 6-foot-4, 275-pound senior added the prestigious honor to the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award he won last week at a banquet in Charlotte on Monday. He becomes the fourth ACC player since 2010 and first from a state school to win the Nagurski Trophy, joining Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald in 2013, Boston College’s Luke Kuechly in 2011 and Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers in 2010.

Chubb ranks second in the FBS in tackles for loss with 23.5 this season. He also has 10 sacks, improving his career total to an NC State school record of 25, to go along with 72 total tackles, nine quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and a blocked kick.

The Nagurski Trophy is presented by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and voted on by members of the Football Writers Association of America.

“It’s a little surreal moment just knowing the people who won this award in the past,” Chubb told the Associated Press upon his selection. “But it’s definitely an honor.”

Chubb beat out fellow finalists Minkah Fitzpatrick of Alabama, Josey Jewell of Iowa, Ed Oliver of Houston and Roquan Smith of Georgia. He is also a finalist for two other national Defensive Player of the Year Awards — the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Ted Hendricks Award.

A projected early first-round pick in next spring’s NFL draft, Chubb has yet to indicate whether he will play in State’s Sun Bowl game against Arizona State on Dec. 29 in El Paso, Texas.

Coach Dave Doeren said he would meet with Chubb and his family to discuss the situation within the next few days.

“They’re the kind of family that really talks things through,” Doeren said Sunday. “Whatever they decide, we’ll do whatever they feel is best for Bradley. He’s done everything he can for this football program. We understand he’s got a tough decision to make.”