AUBURN, Ala. (WIAT) – Auburn’s Derrick Brown is the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Year, and quarterback Bo Nix is the SEC’s Freshman of the Year, the Southeastern Conference announced Wednesday.
Brown, a 6-5, 318-pound senior defensive lineman, made a team-high 12.5 tackles for loss and recorded 50 tackles for the Tigers in 2019, adding four sacks.
Consistently attracting double teams, he created opportunities for teammates to make plays. Brown earned SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors after Auburn’s games against Texas A&M, Florida and Ole Miss.
“Derrick is one of the best all-around football players in the entire country. Any position,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “It’s not a coincidence he’s up for a lot of these awards. He’s a real special player. He’s had an unbelievable year. He’s played his best football in the biggest games when they matter the most. That’s the sign of a great player.”
Brown is Auburn’s first defensive player of the year winner since the awards were split into positions in 2003 – before that, the only defensive players to win SEC player of the year were Reggie White (Tennessee, 1983), Tracy Rocker (Auburn, 1988) and David Pollack (Georgia, 2002).
Nix, the first true freshman quarterback to start Auburn’s season opener in 73 years, rewrote the Tigers’ record book for first-year QBs.
Breaking Stan White’s 1990 freshman marks, the 6-2, 207-pound Nix completed 185 of 328 passes for 2,216 yards and 14 touchdowns. He added 300 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.
“He’s got something special to him,” Malzahn said after Nix helped Auburn beat Alabama 48-45 in the Iron Bowl. “He’ll win a championship before he gets out of here. His leadership, the moment’s not too big. He’s got really good command. He’s got the special traits. The future’s going to be a lot of fun with him leading us.”
No. 9 Auburn will play No. 16 Minnesota on New Year’s Day in the 2020 Outback Bowl at noon CT.
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