The Football Writers Association of America has presented the Nagurski Trophy annually since 1993 in honor of the former University of Minnesota standout. The Charlotte (N.C.) Touchdown Club hosts the awards dinner each December.
Connor is one of three players from Big Ten institutions on the Nagurski Watch List.
A senior from Wallingford, Pa., the 6-3, 233-pound Connor previously was named a pre-season first team All-American by Athlon Sports College Football 2007. Last season, he earned first team All-America honors from The Sporting News and was a second team Associated Press All-American. The former Strath Haven High School standout became the 13th linebacker to earn first team All-America honors at Linebacker U under Coach Joe Paterno.
Connor was fifth in the Big Ten with 113 tackles last season and has 274 career stops, 98 away from Paul Poslusznys school record. He also recorded 9.0 tackles for losses, 5.0 sacks (minus-39 yards), led the team with three forced fumbles (sixth in Big Ten), made two interceptions and one safety. Connor was a finalist for the 2006 Bednarik Award and should be among the top candidates for the Butkus, Bednarik, Rotary Lombardi, Lott and Nagurski awards this season. ;P>Former Nittany Lion All-Americans LaVar Arrington and Courtney Brown were among the finalists for the 1999 Nagurski Trophy and All-America defensive end Tamba Hali was a finalist for the 2005 honor.
Check out FightOnState.com's video interview of Connor from the start of spring practice. This type of content it typically offered as premium material at FOS but we are presenting it here by way of a free preview.