Irish’s Watts wins Nagurski award as top protector

CHARLOTTE, N.C.– Notre Dame safety Xavier Watts won the Bronko Nagurski Award provided to the nation’s leading defensive player on Monday night.The award was presented at the yearly ceremony put on by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.”It means a lot, particularly with

the journey I have actually been through,”Watts stated.”I have actually played offense, I have actually played defense and I have actually sort of bounced around and tried to find a spot to fit on the field my whole profession. So this is a homage to all of the effort I did and everything coming together.”

Other finalists for the award were Iowa cornerback Cooper DeJean, Illinois defensive deal with Jer’Zhan Newton, Georgia security Malaki Starks and NC State linebacker Payton Wilson.Editor’s Picks

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stated his greatest enhancement this season was making more game-changing plays.He has an FBS-leading 7 interceptions for the Battling Irish, along with 47 tackles. He had 2 choices versus both USC and Pittsburgh, ending up being the first Irish player to select off two passes in back-to-back games considering that 1996.” Last season I missed out on a couple of plays and I would be laying in bed simply thinking of them all night,”Watts said.”So my goal entering into the season was not to make those same mistakes and simply come out and ball out. That is pretty much what I’ve done.”Watts’NFL draft stock has increased, although he hasn’t said if he will go into the draft.Although he graduated from Notre Dame in May, he still has 2 years of athletic eligibility remaining because he redshirted in 2020 together with his COVID year exemption.”Entering the season I wasn’t on anybody’s radar since it was my very first year beginning,”Watts stated “However things are beginning to get.” Previous Nagurski award winners include Warren Sapp, Charles Woodson, Champ Bailey, Dan Morgan, Terrell Suggs, Derrick Johnson, Brian Orakpo, Luke Kuechly, Aaron Donald, Bradley Chubb, Josh Allen and Chase Young.

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