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June 21, 2006Washington State defensive end Mkristo Bruce has been named to the 2006 Bronko Nagurski Trophy preseason watch list, announced by The Football Writers Association of America.
The trophy, named in honor of Bronko Nagurski, a past All-American at the University of Minnesota and NFL All-Pro player with the Chicago Bears, is awarded to the best defensive player in college football. The FWAA All-American Committee will select the Bronko Nagurski winner from the association's 11-man All-American defensive team in late November.
Bruce, a senior defensive end from Renton, Wash., was an All-Pacific-10 Conference second team pick last season after posting career-best numbers of 67 tackles, including 10 sacks, 15 tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries. The 15 tackles for loss were tied for first in the Pac-10 while his career-high 10 sacks were second in the conference. For his career Bruce's 18.5 sacks rank sixth all-time at WSU.
Earlier this summer Bruce was named to the Sporting News and Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook All-Pacific-10 Conference preseason first teams, along with a preseason All-America second team selection by the Sporting News.
Bruce is one of 55 players on the 2006 Bronko Nagurski watch list, joining fellow Pac-10 linemen Loren Howard of Arizona State, Daymeion Hughes and Brandon Mebane of California, J.D. Nelson of Oregon, Sabby Piscitelli of Oregon State and Lawrence Jackson of USC.