Two Utah Utes On Watchlist For Bronko Nagurski Trophy

Aug 1, 2023, 3:40 PM

Utah Utes Cole Bishop Junior Tafuna Bronko Nagurski Trophy...

TEMPE, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 24: Safety Cole Bishop #8 of the Utah Utes celebrates a sack with Junior Tafuna #58 during the second half of the NCAAF game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on September 24, 2022 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Two Utah Utes have been named to the watchlist for the Bronko Nagurski trophy ahead of the 2023 college football season.

The Nagurski Trophy is awarded to the nation’s best defensive player.

Safety Cole Bishop and defensive tackle Junior Tafuna were the two Utes put on the watchlist.

Will Anderson Jr. was the Nagurski trophy winner in 2022 and 2021. He went on to be selected by the Houston Texans with the third pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Cole Bishop

Bishop has played in 24 games at Utah with 19 starts. In 2022, Bishop was Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention and posted 83 tackles, six tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, three pass breakups, and one interception. Bishop ranks second among Pac-12 secondary players in tackles per game.

Junior Tafuna

Tafuna has played in 27 games at Utah with 25 consecutive starts. In 2022, Tafuna earned All-Pac-12 second-team after posting 27 tackles (3.5 TFL, 1.0 sack), an interception, two quarterback hurries and a pass breakup.

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Chandler Holt is a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Two Utah Utes On Watchlist For Bronko Nagurski Trophy