September 15, 2012; Louisville, KY USA; Louisville Cardinals safety Hakeem Smith (29) and safety Calvin Pryor (25) break up a pass intended for North Carolina Tar Heels tight end Eric Ebron (85) during the first half of play at Papa John

Hakeem Smith on Nagurski Trophy Watch List

This is a week full of preseason watch lists for NCAA Football Awards.  The watchlists released today were for the Bronco Nagurski Trophy and the Outland Trophy.  The Nagurski Trophy is given annually to who they deem is the best defensive player, while the Outland Trophy is given to the best interior lineman.  No Louisville player was nominated for the Outland Trophy (Luke Joeckel won last season), but safety Hakeem Smith is on the Nagurski watch list (Manti Te’o was last season’s winner).

Smith came off a good season last year, but as I said before, he’s going to really need to improve his interception numbers if he’s to win anything.  I love a good secondary, and Louisville is going to have a great one next season with Smith and Pryor.

The full watch list can be found below, courtesy of

There’s only one watch list being released tomorrow, and it’s the Jim Thorpe Award, which is awarded to the top collegiate defensive back.

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