Bronko Nagurski Award Football

North Carolina State's Bradley Chubb, a former Hillgrove High School standout, poses with the Bronko Nagusrki trophy for the top defensive player in college football.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Playing four seasons at North Carolina State has paid off for Bradley Chubb.

The Wolfpack's senior defensive end won the Bronko Nagurski Award on Monday night given to the nation's top defensive player. The award was presented at the Charlotte Convention Center.

The 6-foot-4, 275-pound former Hillgrove High School standout leads the FBS in tackles for loss with 23 1/2 this season. He has 25 sacks during his career, including 10 in 2017. He has 72 total tackles in all along with nine quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles, two passes broken up and a blocked kick.

Chubb becomes the first North Carolina State to win the award. Wolfpack linebacker Levar Fisher was a finalist in 2000.

"It's a little surreal moment just knowing the people who won this award in the past, but it's definitely an honor," Chubb said.

Some of the previous Nagurski Award recipients are defensive linemen Aaron Donald, Warren Sapp and Ndamukong Suh, linebackers Luke Kuechly, Derrick Johnson and Terrell Suggs, and defensive backs Champ Bailey, Charles Woodson and Roy Williams.

Chubb beat out four other finalists: Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, Iowa middle linebacker Josey Jewell, Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver and Georgia outside linebacker Roquan Smith.

When asked if there was trash talking between the five finalists beforehand, Chubb joked "It's all goodwill. It's a little size-up stuff with a lot of guys asking, 'What were your stats like this year?' Just to feel each other out, but it's all in good fun."

Notre Dame's Ross Browner, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, was this year's Legends Award recipient.

Georgia's Kirby Smart was the keynote address at the banquet.

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