Chestnut, a 5-11, 188-pound rising senior, was a key leader in West Virginia's secondary last season, using both his on- and off-field abilities to anchor a unit that was among the bigger surprises in the Big 12. Chestnut started all 12 games in which he played, making 35 tackles, 25 solo, and recovering and returning a fumble 35 yards against TCU for a score.
Called by cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell one of the best leaders he has ever mentored, Chestnut helped develop a series of young players in WVU's 3-3-5 scheme while holding down one corner slot and turning in the best single season performance of his career. Chestnut was invaluable in helping Mitchell and Gibson oversee the young unit, and brought sense of consistency and maturity in a position room filled with younger, less experienced players.
Nominations for the Wuerffel Trophy are made by the respective universities’ Sports Information departments. Semifinalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 3 and finalists will be announced on November 24. Formal announcement of the winner will be on December 8 at the National Football Foundation’s press conference in New York City. The presentation of the 2015 Wuerffel Trophy will occur at the 47th Annual All Sports Association Awards Banquet on February 12, 2016 in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
Past winners of the Wuerffel Trophy are: Rudy Niswanger (LSU-2005), Joel Penton (Ohio State-2006), Paul Smith (Tulsa-2007), Tim Tebow (Florida-2008), Tim Hiller (W. Michigan-2009), Sam Acho (Texas-2010), Barrett Jones (Alabama-2011), Matt Barkley (USC-2012), Gabe Ikard (Oklahoma-2013) and Deterrian Shackelford (Ole Miss-2014). The Wuerffel Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast more than 700 years of tradition-selection excellence.
Ten Big 12 players are on the watch list.