Junior cornerbacks Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Terrance Mitchell have been selected to the preseason watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is presented annually to the National Defensive Player of the Year by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America.
Sophomore offensive tackle Tyler Johnstone and junior center Hroniss Grasu have been added to the Outland Trophy watch list, which is presented to the nation’s Most Outstanding Interior Lineman by the FWAA.
Ekpre-Olomu, who was previously added to the watch list for the 2013 Bednarik Award, led the Pac-12 Conference in passes defended (20), tied for the league lead in forced fumbles (6) and was tied for fifth in interceptions (4) a year ago. Additionally, the Chino Hills, Calif., native was a first-team all-conference selection and garnered third team All-America honors.
Mitchell started all 13 games on defense last season enroute to being named Pac-12 honorable mention. The Sacramento, Calif., native ranked third on the team in passes defended (8) and ninth in tackles (40) in 2012.
Grasu, a redshirt junior from Los Angeles, is a two-year starter and two-time All-America honoree while Johnstone (Chandler, Ariz.) started all 13 games last year and was a Freshman All-America choice.
Grasu was previously named to the Rimington Trophy watch list for the second time in as many years. That award is presented to the top collegiate center in the country.