The preseason honors continue to roll in this week for IU redshirt senior cornerback Rashard Fant and senior linebacker Tegray Scales.
Both were named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) announced Thursday morning. The honor is given annually to the national defensive player of the year by the organization.
The pair of Hoosiers were two of 16 Big Ten nominees in total, second-most nationally behind the ACC. Fant was one of 30 defensive backs selected, while Scales was one of 29 linebackers.
Earlier this week, Fant was named to the 2017 AllState Good Works Team watch list by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). Scales adds the recognition to a list of preseason honors that also includes the Bednarik Award watch list (given annually to college football's best defensive player), Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list, First Team All-American honors from Street & Smiths and Second Team All-American honors from Athlon Sports.
Entering the 2017 season, Fant is the NCAA active career leader and Indiana's all-time leader with 48 passes defended and 44 pass breakups in 38 games. A second team All-Big Ten selection in 2016, the Atlanta native topped the Big Ten in pass breakups (17, T-2nd nationally) and passes defended (20, 3rd nationally).
Scales finished with a nation-leading 93 solo tackles and 23.5 tackles for loss last season, helping the Hoosiers reach the Foster Farms Bowl and back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time in 25 years.
Players can be added or removed from the watch list throughout the season. The FWAA and Charlotte Touchdown Club will announced the five finalists for the Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 16, with the winner chosen from those five finalists. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association's full membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski Trophy finalists. Committee members, by individual ballot, select the winner they regard as the best defensive player in college football.