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Foley Fatukasi Named to Multiple Preseason Award Watch Lists

The redshirt senior is poised for another strong season.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn Football defensive lineman Foley Fatukasi has been getting national love as of late, finding spots on multiple award watch lists to begin his redshirt senior campaign.

The 6-foot-4, 315 pound defensive tackle was named to the 81-person watchlist for the Outland Trophy, given by the Football Writers Association of America to the best interior lineman in the country. Past winners include Cam Robinson of Alabama (2016) and Aaron Donald (2013).

His competition this year includes American Athletic Conference foes Evan Brown of SMU, Memphis Tiger Gabe Kuhn, Evan Martin (Navy), Chandler Miller of Tulsa, Ed Oliver from Houston, Evan Plagg (Tulsa), Jamiyus Pittman of UCF and Deadrin Senat of USF. The American had nine players named to the list in all, fourth-most behind the ACC (17), Big Ten (11), SEC (11) and Pac-12 (10).

Fatukasi is also on the preseason watchlist along with 102 others for the Nagurski Trophy, given to the best defensive player in the country as judged by the FWAA. Past winners include Tyler Matakevich (2015), Luke Kuechly (2011) and Brian Orakpo (2008).

The American has 10 men on the watchlist, behind the ACC (20), Big Ten (16), SEC (14), Pac-12 (13) and Big 12 (11).

Gernard Avery (Memphis), Sean Chandler of Temple, Shaquem Griffin from UCF, SMU Mustang Justin Lawler, Deatrick Nichols of USF, Auggie Sanchez (USF) and Micah Thomas of Navy are all on the list, while Oliver and Senat joined Fatukasi on both lists.

Other Huskies In on the Watchlist Action

Additionally, tight end Alec Bloom was named to the Mackey Award watchlist, given annually to the best tight end. Jake Butt (2016), Tyler Eifert (2012) and Heath Miller (2004) are all past winners.

Jordan Akins (UCF), Charles Jones of Tulane and Mitchell Wilcox from USF are the only other players from the American to join him on the watch list.

Senior linebacker Vontae Diggs was named to the 146-man Good Works Team watchlist. The 22-man team is announced in September and has to do with giving back to the community.

Steven Dunbar (Houston), UCF’s Shaquem Griffin, Justin Lawler of SMU, Parry Nickerson from Tulane, Memphis’ Spencer Smith, Jimmy Williams (East Carolina) and Willy Wright of Tulsa join him on the list that has members from all three divisions of college athletics.