Oregon safety Verone McKinley III was named the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week for Week 2 of the college football season by the Football Writers Association of America.
McKinley posted six tackles and helped seal a 35-28 win at No. 3 Ohio State with a late interception that gave the Ducks one of the season’s highlight wins.
This is the first time an Oregon player to earn this honor since the FWAA began the honor in 2001. Oregon had a Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalist, Haloti Ngata, in 2005. McKinley has now been added to this season’s Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list.
McKinley, a 5-11, 194-pound sophomore from Carrollton, Texas, also forced a fumble and had two of Oregon’s five pass breakups as he asserted himself for a defense that was missing standout starters Kayvon Thibodeaux, an All-America lineman, and linebacker Justin Flowe. McKinley helped contain an Ohio State offense that gained 612 total yards but never led in the game. The Ducks had three fourth-down stops and held OSU to 6-of-15 third-down conversions.
The win is Oregon’s first over a top-five team since beating Stanford in 2011 and snapped Ohio State’s 23-game home win streak.
The 2021 College Football America Yearbook features more than 900 college football teams from the United States and Canada in more than 250 striking, full-color pages. That includes every team from the NCAA (FBS, FCS, Division II and Division III), NAIA, NJCAA, CCCAA and U Sports (Canada). It also includes updates on club football, one-year postgraduate prep/sports academies and Mexican college football, along with dozens of action shots and stadium photos taken by the CFA staff.