MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University football senior offensive lineman Yodny Cajuste was named to the Outland Trophy presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases Watch List, and redshirt senior safety Dravon Askew-Henry and redshirt junior David Long Jr. were named to the Bronko Nagurski Watch List as announced today by the Football Writers Association of America.
The Outland Trophy, selected by the FWAA, is given to the top interior lineman in the nation.
The Bronko Nagurski Award, selected by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club, is given to the top defensive player in the nation. The winners will be announced during ESPN’s The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 6, live from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
Cajuste has been a two-year starter and anchors the Mountaineer offensive line at left tackle. He was a member of an offensive line in 2017 that only allowed 4.1 tackles for loss per game, ranking No. 8 nationally and No. 1 in the Big 12. Opponents averaged only 1.5 sacks per game, ranking No. 20 in the nation. He also was part of an offensive line that paved the way for a 1,000-yard rusher, a 3,400-yard pass and two 1,000-yard receivers.
The Outland Trophy winner is selected from three finalists who are a part of the annual FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects a 26-man first team and eventually the three Outland finalists. Committee members, by individual ballot, select the winner. Only interior linemen on offense or defense are eligible for the award; ends are not eligible.
Askew-Henry started all 39 games during his three years at West Virginia. As a redshirt junior in 2017, he was the Mountaineers fourth-leading tackler with 57 , including 42 assisted, 2.5 tackles for loss, an interception and four pass breakups.
Long Jr. returned to play in nine games in 2017 after suffering a preseason knee injury. The ESPN.com All-Big 12 Conference selection finished third on the team with 76 tackles, including 56 unassisted tackles, four sacks, a team-leading 16.5 tackles for loss, six pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
As in previous years, the FWAA will announce a National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday this season. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 14.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s full membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski Trophy finalists. Committee members, by individual ballot, select the winner they regard as the best defensive player in college football.
Press Release Courtesy: WVU Sports Communications- Mike Montoro
Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS