Bulldogs’ Grubbs on Nagurski watch list; Tech volleyball schedule released

The preseason accolades continue to roll in for Louisiana Tech freshman Tyler Grubbs as the linebacker was named to the Bronco Nagurski Trophy Watch List for the postseason award given to the country’s top college football defensive player.

This year’s watch list includes at least four players from all 10 FBS conferences plus five from the independent schools. The SEC led the conference list with 20 with the Big Ten (13) and Big 12 (12) just behind, making up half of the list. The Pac-12 (9) was fourth, followed by the ACC (8), Conference USA, Independents, Mountain West and Sun Belt (5 each) and the American Athletic and Mid-American had four apiece. The list includes 29 linebackers, 22 backs, 22 ends and 17 tackles.

Grubbs, who also has been named to the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, will follow a breakthrough freshman campaign where he was a 2020 FWAA, ESPN and 247Sports.com Freshman All-American. As a true freshman, Grubbs was named first team all-Conference USA by both the league and Phil Steele while also earning a spot on the Conference USA All-Freshman team.

The New Orleans native registered a team-best 99 tackles and finished second on the team in both solo tackles (45) and tackles for loss (9.5) as a true freshman in 2020. Grubbs finished the 2020 season ranked second in C-USA and 25th in the FBS in tackles per game at 9.9, and he was sixth in C-USA in tackles for loss with 9.5.

The Football Writers Association of America has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated college football, then became a star for professional football’s Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw “Bronko” Nagurski is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org and @NCFAA on Twitter to learn more about the association.

VOLLEYBALL: New coach Amber McCray announced the 2021 Lady Techster Volleyball schedule including 10 home matches played inside the Thomas Assembly Center. After a one-year hiatus, the Lady Techsters will also host the LA Tech Invitational from Sept. 16-18 in Ruston.

LA Tech opens with a road exhibition at McNeese State on Aug. 21 before the regular season slate begins with a weekend tournament at Arkansas on Aug. 27.

The Lady Techsters will open their home schedule against Jackson State on Sept. 1 in the Thomas Assembly Center. Tech’s first home match of the season will then lead into a stretch of seven straight road dates.

I-20 foe ULM will visit the Lady Techsters on Sept. 14 to end Tech’s stretch of seven matches away from the TAC.

Fans will be able to watch the Techsters host their first home tournament since 2019 from Sept. 16-18, which is when LA Tech hosts Southern, New Orleans and Little Rock for the LA Tech Invitational.

After the Lady Techsters compete in their fourth and final weekend tournament of the regular season, they will open Conference USA action at UTSA on Sept. 24-25.

The 2021 C-USA schedule will consist of six weekends of conference matchups. Similar to the 2020-21 season, the pair of teams will play each other twice over the same weekend. The Lady Techsters will host three conference opponents and travel to three conference schools to form their 12-match C-USA schedule.

After LA Tech closes out its regular season with a pair of home matches against UAB on Nov. 5-6, the Conference USA Championships will begin two weekends later in Norfolk, Virginia. Old Dominion will play host to the 2021 tournament held from Nov. 19-21.

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