Pitt's Aaron Donald, Mizzou's Michael Sam head Nagurski list

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Pittsburgh senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald, the nation's leader in tackles for loss with 22.5, is one of five finalists for the Nagurski Trophy, awarded annually to the nation's best defensive player.

Donald is one of two ACC players on the list; he is joined by Florida State senior cornerback Lamarcus Joyner. There are two players from the SEC, as well: Alabama senior linebacker C.J. Mosley and Missouri senior defensive end Michael Sam, who leads the SEC and is tied for seventh nationally (with Donald) in sacks with 10. The other finalist is Michigan State senior cornerback Darqueze Dennard.

The winner will be announced Dec. 9.

Last season's winner was Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, who was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the second round last April.

Mosley is top-ranked Alabama's leading tackler with 81; he also leads the Tide with seven tackles for loss and eight quarterback hurries. Dennard has three interceptions, seven pass breakups and 38 tackles. Joyner has one interception and three pass breakups, and also leads the Seminoles with five sacks and three forced fumbles.

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

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