Associated Press photo by BRYNN ANDERSON -- Alabama defensive back Landon Collins

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Alabama defensive back Landon Collins was named one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski trophy given annually to the nation’s top college defensive player.

The announcement was made by the Charlotte Touchdown Club in conjunction with the Football Writers Association of America. In addition to Collins, a Dutchtown High graduate, the finalists are Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown, Ole Miss defensive back Senquez Golson, Louisville defensive back Gerod Holliman and Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright.

The trophy will be handed out during the annual Bronko Nagurski awards banquet Dec. 8 in Charlotte.

Alabama coach Nick Saban will be the keynote speaker.


Fobbs named Eddie Robinson Award finalist: Grambling first-year coach Broderick Fobbs is among the 20 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award.

Fobbs, a 1997 Grambling graduate who played for Robinson, has led the Tigers on a remarkable turnaround. The team finished last in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Western Division last season with a 1-10 overall record. They can win the West this year by defeating archrival Southern in the Bayou Classic on Nov. 29.

The Tigers (7-4, 7-1) went on a seven-game winning streak to start conference play this year.

The Eddie Robinson Award, now in its 28th year, is presented to the top coach in the FCS. Robinson amassed a 408-164 record in 57 years at Grambling.


Suspensions leave Vols shorthanded: On a week when Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson expected to play the final home game of his productive career, the Volunteers instead must find a way to replace him.

Johnson and sophomore cornerback Michael Williams were suspended from all team-related activities Monday, one day before a Knoxville police report named them as subjects of a rape investigation. The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed.

While players say the situation hasn’t distracted them heading into Saturday’s game with No. 19 Missouri (8-2, 5-1, No. 20 CFP), the absences of Johnson and Williams hamper a Tennessee (5-5, 2-4) defense that also must play the first half without junior safety Brian Randolph, who received a targeting penalty last week against Kentucky.


Muschamp wants to get back to work: Will Muschamp wants to coach next season.

The fired Florida coach said Wednesday he would “like to obviously be working next year.”

Florida parted ways with Muschamp on Sunday, less than 24 hours after the team’s sixth loss in its last eight home games.

Muschamp will coach the Gators’ final two regular-season games before deciding what the future holds.

“I’m looking forward to that next step, but what that will be I have no idea,” he said. “I haven’t put any thought into that as far as where, what, when and how. I don’t know all those things.”

Around the nation

Injured Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (knee) won’t return this week against Georgia State. ... Colorado State has formally recommended construction of a multi-sport stadium on campus. ... Buffalo’s home football game against Kent State was canceled because of severe winter weather in western New York.