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Charles Snowden named to Nagurski Trophy, Butkus Award watchlists

The senior defender is one of the most versatile in the nation.

NCAA Football: Duke at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The preseason honors are rolling in for Virginia linebacker Charles Snowden. While there are a lot of questions that remain around whether or not the football season will take place — or even what it will look like if it does happen — Snowden continues to show he is one of the players to watch in 2020.

The watch list for the Nagurski Trophy — an award given to the country’s best defensive player — was announced on Tuesday afternoon by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). The list, which is made up of 98 players, includes 17 athletes from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Nagurski Trophy isn’t the only one keeping an eye on the Silver Spring, MD senior. For the second straight year, Snowden is on the Preseason Butkus Award Watch List. The Butkus Award is given out annually to the best linebacker in in college football. Snowden is one of 51 players on the watch list, and is one of five from the ACC.

Virginia Tech’s Rayshard Ashby, North Carolina’s Chazz Surratt, Boston College’s Max Richardson, and Clemson’s James Skalski join Snowden as representatives from the ACC. ACC-adjacent Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is also on the watch list. Ohio State leads with three players represented, while several teams — including LSU and Alabama — have two players listed.

Phil Steele, FWAA member, also included Snowden on his Preseason First-Team All-ACC squad:

Snowden wasn’t the only Cavalier to get attention from Phil Steele. Fellow defenders Joey Blount and Noah Taylor are players to watch on the preseason Second Team All-ACC squad, with Terrell Jana, Olusegun Oluwatimi, and Zane Zandier getting named to the Third-Team. Mandy Alonso earned a Fourth-Team (honorable mention) nod.

Expectations are high for the 6-7, 235 OLB. He’s versatile, long, and understands Virginia’s schemes defensively. Last season he started all 14 games and finished third on the team in tackles with 72 total tackles. He notched 11 tackles for a loss and five sacks. In the passing game, Snowden broke up four passes and had 11 QB hurries.

Oh, and he had one reception from Brennan Armstrong for 24 yards on a fake field conversion against Liberty.

The season is scheduled to start on September 7 in Atlanta as the Hoos face Georgia.