CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley was one of five finalists for the 2010 Bronko Nagurski Trophy who were honored by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club at a banquet Monday night. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is given annually to the nation's top defensive player.
The banquet was held at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte and included former NFL quarterback Steve Beuerlein serving as Master of Ceremonies and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney serving as the keynote speaker. At the conclusion of the banquet, Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers was awarded the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
Prior to the award ceremony, Fairley participated in a High School Leadership Forum and visited Presbyterian Hemby Children's Hospital with the other finalists.
"It was a great experience," said Fairley. "There was a lot to do and they made it a lot of fun. It was also neat to be able to meet the other finalists and get to hang out with them a little bit. I want to congratulate Da'Quan Bowers. He's a great player and deserved the award. It was just an honor to be nominated, and I had a good time."
Fairley, a junior from Mobile, Ala., leads the SEC and ranks eighth nationally with a school record 21 tackles for loss. He ranks second in the league with 10.5 quarterback sacks, which ranks fourth in a single season in school history.
Fairley, who is also a finalist for the Lombardi Award and Chuck Bednarik Award, ranks fifth on the team with 55 tackles this season, including 31 solo stops. He has also recovered two fumbles, forced one fumble, intercepted a pass and has 21 quarterback hurries. He has been named SEC Defensive Player or Defensive Lineman of the Week five times this season and was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press.
The FWAA's National Defensive Player of the Year Award is named after Bronko Nagurski, who dominated college football at the University of Minnesota as a bruising fullback and defensive tackle from 1927-29.