University of Connecticut junior cornerback Jamar Summers (Orange, N.J.) has been named to the Watch List for the 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club to the top defensive player in the country.
The FWAA has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary two-way player from Minnesota. Nagurski dominated college football then became a star for the Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw “Bronko” Nagurski is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
It marks the second watch list that Summers has been named to this week as he is also on the list for the Bednarik Award, given annually by the Maxwell Football Club (Philadelphia) to the top defensive player in the country.
In addition to Summers, three other Huskies have been named to watch lists this preseason – redshirt senior kicker Bobby Puyol (North Palm Beach, Fla.) for the Lou Groza Award, redshirt senior punter Justin Wain (Wilmington, N.C.) for the Ray Guy Award and redshirt sophomore center Ryan Crozier (Plantation, Fla.) for the Rimington Trophy.
Summers enjoyed an outstanding season as a sophomore in 2015 as he earned First Team All-American Athletic Conference honors and was also named First Team All-New England by the NE Football Writers’ Association.
Summers was third nationally in interceptions per game last season and was first in the American. He started 12 of 13 games and enters his junior year with 25 career games with 17 starts.
Summers recorded critical interceptions in UConn’s last three wins of the season in 2015 as the Huskies became bowl eligible for the first time since 2010. Against East Carolina on Oct. 30, he had two with the first coming in the closing seconds of the first half with ECU driving. He returned an interception 67-yards for a touchdown in the win vs. Tulane (Nov. 7) – UConn’s only score in a 7-3 win. Finally, in the win over nationally-ranked Houston (Nov. 21), Summers intercepted the ball in the final minute of the game at the UConn 29-yard line as the Cougars were driving for a potential game-winning score.
Summers played in all 12 games as a true freshman in 2014, starting the final five at cornerback