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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia senior cornerback Chase Minnifield has been named to the 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List, announced Friday by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). One of the more than 87 players on the list most likely will receive the trophy, which is awarded annually to the nation’s best defensive player by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

The trophy has been presented since 1993 and is awarded in memory of the legendary Nagurski, an All-American lineman at Minnesota in 1927-29 and a star for professional football’s Chicago Bears in the 1930s.

Minnifield is on the list for the first time in his career after he finished No. 2 in the ACC and No. 5 nationally with six interceptions in 2010. A Honorable Mention All-American, Minnifield also had 48 tackles. The Lexington, Ky., native shared ACC defensive back of the week honors with teammate Corey Mosley after snaring two interceptions in UVa’s 24-19 upset of No. 22 Miami. Minnifield is also on the Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List.

Players may be added or deleted to the Bronko Nagurski Watch List during the season. Each week during the 2011 season, the FWAA will choose a Defensive Player of the Week. If that player is not on the Watch List, he automatically will be added. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 17.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner is chosen from five finalists who are part of the FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects the 25-man team and eventually the Bronko Nagurski finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot select the winner, the best defensive player in America.

The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet will be on Dec. 12 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. Besides the 2011 winner being announced, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award presented by Florida East Coast Railway. Florida’s Jack Youngblood, an end from the FWAA’s 1970 All-America team, will be honored. Georgia head coach Mark Richt will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.

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