Notre Dame Football’s Xavier Watts wins 2023 Bronko Nagurski Trophy

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Notre Dame safety Xavier Watts won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Monday night, solidifying him as the best defensive player in college football.

The award is presented each year to the Top Defensive Player in college football, as chosen by members of the Football Writers Association of America.

The last time a Notre Dame player won the award was back in 2012, when Manti Te’o was given the honor.

Watts was up against four other finalists for the award, including Iowa cornerback Cooper DeJean, Illinois defensive tackle Jer’Zhan Newton, Georgia safety Malaki Starks and NC State linebacker Payton Wilson.

He leads the nation in interceptions this season and is the first Notre Dame player to post back-to-back games with multiple interceptions, according to

Watts ended the regular season with 47 tackles and 137 interception return yards.

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