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Winfield named finalist for Bronko Nagurski Trophy

Minnesota defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. (11) intercepts the ball intended for Penn State wide receiver Justin Shorter (6) during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Minneapolis. Photo: Stacy Bengs/Associated Press
Minnesota defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. (11) intercepts the ball intended for Penn State wide receiver Justin Shorter (6) during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Minneapolis.

Updated: November 20, 2019 02:38 PM

The University of Minnesota defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. has been named one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Minnesota Athletics announced Wednesday.

The award goes to the best defensive player in college football and is named after former Minnesota legend Bronko Nagurski, who was a standout for the Gophers in the 1920s. This year is the 25th annual banquet for the award.

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The other finalists joining Winfield include Derrick Brown (Auburn defensive tackle), J.R. Reed (Georgia defensive back), Isaiah Simmons (Clemson linebacker) and Chase Young (Ohio State defensive end).

This season, Winfield has started all 10 games for the Gophers and leads the team with 65 tackles, 47 of which have been solo stops. He also has two sacks, one pass breakup and one forced fumble, and is tied for second in the nation with seven interceptions, four more than anyone else in the Big Ten. 

He has 111 return yards this year from interceptions and returned one for a touchdown at Rutgers earlier this season. His seven interceptions also tied a school record, which was set by Jeff Wright in 1970.

The winner will be announced on Dec. 9.

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