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Arizona's Scooby Wright is winner of Nagurski Trophy

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Rick Scuteri/Associated Press
Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright has notched a nation-leading 27 tackles for loss in 2014.

Arizona sophomore linebacker Scooby Wright -- in the top three in the nation in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks -- won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is awarded annually to the top defensive player in the country.

Wright (6-foot-1, 246 pounds) is the second sophomore to win the award since its inception in 1993, joining Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis, the 2006 winner.


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The other Nagurski finalists were Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown, Alabama safety Landon Collins, Ole Miss cornerback Senquez Golson and Louisville safety Gerod Holliman.

Wright leads the nation with 27 tackles for loss, is second with 153 tackles and is third with 14 sacks. In addition, he is tied for the national lead with six forced fumbles. He is the only FBS player to rank even in the top 25 of all those categories. Research by STATS shows that the most recent player to finish in the top five in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks was Clemson linebacker Keith Adams, in 1999.

Wright -- who started as a true freshman last season -- can add to his numbers against Boise State in the Dec. 31 Fiesta Bowl.

The Nagurski is voted on by members of the Football Writers Association of America, a group of more than 1,400 people who cover college football.


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Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald, now a rookie with the St. Louis Rams, was last season's winner. Other past winners include Laurinaitis, Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly in 2011, Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in 2009, Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson in 2004, Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson in 1997 and Miami defensive tackle Warren Sapp in 1994.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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