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Badgers place pair on both Outland and Nagurski watch lists

<b>Senior LB Mike Taylor led the Big Ten with 150 tackles last season.</b>

Senior LB Mike Taylor led the Big Ten with 150 tackles last season.

July 12, 2012

Nagurski Trophy Watch List Get    Acrobat  Reader  |  Outland Trophy Watch List Get    Acrobat  Reader

MADISON, Wis. -- Two more members of the Wisconsin football team have been targeted for major awards with the release of a pair of preseason watch lists Thursday.

The linebacker duo of senior Mike Taylor and junior Chris Borland were named preseason candidates for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, while senior left tackle Ricky Wagner and junior center Travis Frederick each were named to the preseason watch list for the Outland Trophy.

The Nagurski Trophy is presented to the best defensive player in college football each year by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America.

The Outland Trophy is presented annually by the FWAA to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman. Wisconsin’s last two starting left tackles, Joe Thomas (2006) and Gabe Carimi (2010), won the Outland Trophy as seniors.

While Taylor and Wagner were added to the Badgers’ list of preseason honorees, Borland also was named a candidate for the Chuck Bednarik Award on Monday, while Frederick earned a nod to the Rimington Trophy watch list on Tuesday.

A consensus honorable mention All-Big Ten selection in each of the last two seasons, Wagner has appeared in 38 games through the first three seasons of his Badgers career.

He has started 24 contests, including all 14 games last year at left tackle, a position he moved to for the start of the 2011 season after previously playing right tackle.

A converted tight end, Wagner played in 12 games as a redshirt freshman in 2009 before starting 10 games at right tackle as a sophomore in 2010.

Frederick started 13 games for the Badgers as a sophomore in 2011, including 11 at left guard and a pair at center in place of injured teammate Peter Konz. With Konz joining the Atlanta Falcons as a second-round NFL draft pick, Frederick will move to the center role for the Badgers full time in 2012.

The Sharon, Wis., native was a consensus second-team All-Big Ten pick last season after redshirting the 2010 campaign. Frederick became the first true freshman in school history to start a season-opener on the offensive line when he snapped as the Badgers’ center against Northern Illinois in 2009.

He went on to start four games as a rookie and has 18 games under his belt heading into his third season on the field.

Frederick and Wagner are among 71 candidates on the preseason watch list, with Big Ten players occupying 12 spots -- second only to the SEC’s 19.

The award, named after former Kansas All-American John Outland, will be presented Dec. 6 at The Home Depot College Football Awards. The winner will be selected from a group of three finalists announced on Nov. 19.

Borland and Taylor up for Nagurski Trophy
The Big Ten’s top tacklers from a year ago head into a new season among the candidates for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy. The duo of Borland and Taylor also led the way for a UW defense that ranked No. 15 in total defense and No. 13 in scoring defense nationally last season.

Borland is on the Nagurski Trophy watch list for the second time in his career after also being named a preseason candidate prior to what became an injury-shortened 2010 season.

Last season, he finished second to Taylor in the Big Ten with 143 tackles and earned consensus first-team All-Big Ten honors. The Kettering, Ohio, native ranked third in the Big Ten and tied for 12th nationally with 19.0 tackles for loss, the most by any middle linebacker. His total was also the highest for a linebacker in UW history.

In addition, Borland forced five fumbles, a number that ranked second in the Big Ten and tied for seventh in the country. He has forced 10 fumbles in his career, dating back to a rookie season that saw him named 2009 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and earn freshman All-America honors.

A first-team All-Big Ten pick by the league media, Taylor led the conference with 150 tackles last season to rank No. 3 nationally in total stops.

The Ashwaubenon, Wis., native had seven games with at least 10 tackles on the year, including a career-high 22 tackles against Ohio State on Oct. 29. He started all 14 games last season, recording 9.0 tackles for loss, forcing three fumbles, recovering a pair of fumbles and snaring two interceptions.

Taylor has started all 33 games in which he has suited up for the Badgers after starting 12 games as a sophomore and making seven starts as a redshirt freshman before being sidelined by an injury.

Five finalists for the Nagurski Trophy will be announced on Nov. 15, with the winner named Dec. 3 at the annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet in Charlotte.

Badgers on 2012 Preseason Watch Lists
• RB Montee Ball: Maxwell Award
• LB Chris Borland: Chuck Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy
• OL Travis Frederick: Rimington Trophy, Outland Trophy
• TE Jacob Pedersen: John Mackey Award
• LB Mike Taylor: Bronko Nagurski Trophy
• OL Ricky Wagner: Outland Trophy

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