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TU Linebacker Zaven Collins Presented Bronko Nagurski Trophy

University of Tulsa

University of Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins collected his latest award on Thursday.

In a private ceremony, Collins was presented with the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the award given to college football’s best defensive player, judged by the Football Writers Association of America.

FWAA’s John Hoover told Collins the vote wasn’t even close, and not just because he made some game-changing interceptions, like a pick-six against Tulane to win the game in double overtime.

"You played four Top 25 teams in 2020. Against ranked opponents, you had 35 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and four quarterback sacks. Against the best of the best, Zaven Collins was at his best," Hoover said.

Collins adds the Nagurski trophy to a slew of honors, including the Lombardi Award and being named a consensus All-American.

"My goal this year was to bring some hardware home, whether it was AP All-American or just conference player. I actually achieved some other stuff, like the Bronko. So, I was really fortunate and grateful for that," Collins said.

The 6 foot 4 inch, 260-pound linebacker was named the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner in December, joining a list of winners that includes NFL standouts Aaron Donald and Luke Kuechly, and Hall of Fame members Charles Woodson and Warren Sapp.

Golden Hurricane Coach Philip Montgomery said the award is a great tribute to Collins, who hails from small-town Green Country.

"He’s meant so much to everybody here, from the city to Hominy. He’s just been a great representation of what the University of Tulsa stands for and what it’s going to continue to stand for over the years," Montgomery said.

Collins has declared for the NFL draft, which starts at the end of the month.

Note: KWGS is licensed to TU.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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