Four LSU defenders in running for Nagusrki

Usual suspects land on pre-season watch list for defensive star award.

Tyrann Mathieu

LSU football players Tyrann Mathieu, Barkevious Mingo, Sam Montgomery and Eric Reid were named to the 2012 Bronko Nagurski Watch List as announced by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the Charlotte Touchdown Club on Thursday.

The Nagurski Trophy is awarded annually to the nation's best defensive player, and the 2012 watch list features 84 players, including a nation-leading 19 from the SEC.

Mathieu, Mingo, Montgomery and Reid were also selected to the watch list for the Bednarik Award that goes to college football's top defensive player.

A 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist, Mathieu heads into his junior season having created 14 turnovers in his career. His 11 forced fumbles rank seventh in NCAA history and are just three shy of the NCAA record.

Sam Montgomery

Mingo and Montgomery represent one of the nation's most ferocious tandems at defensive end. Montgomery has produced 19.5 tackles for a loss and 11 sacks in two seasons, while Mingo has racked up 20.5 tackles for a loss and 10.5 sacks.

Reid enters the 2012 season highly regarded as one of the nation's best safeties, and he tied for the team lead in tackles with 76 a season ago.

Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne were finalists for the trophy in 2010 and 2011, respectively, and Glenn Dorsey won the award in 2007.

The Nagurski Trophy winner is chosen from five finalists who are part of the FWAA All-America Team as chosen by the FWAA All-America Committee. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce the five finalists for the award on Nov. 15. The winner will be announced at the annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Awards Banquet on Dec. 3 in Charlotte.

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