CHARLOTTE — NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb was named the recipient of the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Monday night before a sold-out banquet crowd of 1,200 people at the Charlotte Convention Center.
Chubb, a 6-foot-4, 275-pound senior from Marietta, Ga., accepted the award given to the best defensive player in college football before a large contingent of Wolfpack supporters, including his head coach Dave Doeren.
“This is what happens if you just keep working,” Doeren said of Chubb’s record-setting career. “This wasn’t a guy who was a five-star (recruit). This is a guy who made himself into one.”
Chubb is the first Wolfpack player to receive the award, which has been selected by the organization since 1993. NC State linebacker Levar Fisher was a finalist in 2000.
He’s the fourth Atlantic Coast Conference player to win the award in the last eight seasons, including Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly (2011), now a member of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.
Chubb ranks second in tackles for loss with 23 1/2 this season. He has 25 sacks during his career, including an ACC-high 10 in 2017. He has 72 total tackles in all along with nine quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles, two passes broken up and a blocked kick.
He beat out four other finalists: Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, Iowa middle linebacker Josey Jewell, Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver and Georgia outside linebacker Roquan Smith.
“He’s the real deal, man,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said during the 2017 season. “He’s long. He’s fast. He’s explosive. He plays with excellent technique. He’s a very knowledgeable, instinctive player. This guy has all the little nuances down. He understands what you are trying to do offensively, so that allows him to anticipate. When you have that type of speed and skill and strength, plus knowledge, you are a tough guy to handle.”
Chubb, who is the ACC’s 2017 Defensive Player of the Year, set NC State career records for tackles for loss with 60 and sacks at 26. Those marks are tied for fourth and tied for 18th, respectively, in ACC history.
“He’s a dynamic player,” Boston College head coach Steve Addazio said. “He’s as good as there is in America without any doubt.”