DALLAS – LSU senior safety Craig Loston and junior defensive tackle Anthony Johnson are candidates for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, while Johnson and junior offensive tackle La’el Collins are up for the Outland Trophy as two more college football pre-season individual award watch lists were unveiled by the Football Writers Association of America on Thursday.
The Nagurski Trophy goes annually to college football’s defensive player of the year as selected by the FWAA. The Outland Trophy is presented to the nation’s top interior lineman.
Loston, who is also a candidate for the Bednarik Award, goes into his senior season as the leader of the Tiger secondary. He was a second-team All-Southeastern Conference recipient as a junior after ranking fifth on the team in tackles with 55 and second in interceptions with three. He is one of only three players in school history to return an interception 100 yards for a touchdown as he joined the list in the fourth quarter of a 37-17 blowout win over Mississippi State.
Johnson anchors an LSU defensive line that lost several players to the 2013 NFL Draft. A talented, physical presence, the junior has recorded 42 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and four sacks in two seasons. He finished third on the team with 10 tackles for loss in 2012.
Collins, a superb guard in his first two years, makes the move to tackle this season and had a dominant spring. Last season, the honorable mention All-SEC selection started all 13 games and led the Tigers in both total snaps (836) and knockdowns (64.5).
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from five finalists who are part of the 2013 FWAA All-America Team. The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet will be held on Dec. 9 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.
The Outland Trophy, presented annually since 1946, is the third oldest award in major college football. The winner of the 67th Outland Trophy, named after the late John Outland will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 6 on ESPN.