A two-game suspension wasn’t enough to keep Ohio State’s Chase Young away from one of the nation’s highest college football honors.
The junior defensive end was announced as one of the five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Wednesday, an award given to the best defensive player in the country.
Young’s 13.5 sacks led the nation prior to the suspension, and his 1.69 per game remain tops in the country. The 6-foot-5 pass rusher is No. 2 in college football with 15.5 tackles for loss.
With one more sack, Young would set the new season sacks record at Ohio State, previously held by Vernon Gholston. Young had a career-high four sacks in his most recent game for the Buckeyes, a 38-7 win against Wisconsin Oct. 26.
Former linebackers Andy Katzenmoyer and James Laurinaitis are the only previous Ohio State finalists, with Laurinaitis winning the award in 2006.
Joining Young as finalists are Minnesota redshirt sophomore defensive back Antoine Winfield, Auburn senior defensive tackle Derrick Brown, Georgia senior safety J.R. Reed and Clemson redshirt junior linebacker Isaiah Simmons.
The award will be given Dec. 9 in Charlotte, North Carolina.