Chase Young has officially been named college football's best defensive player.
That recognition came his way on Monday night, when Young was awarded the Bronko Nagurski Trophy at a banquet in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Young becomes Ohio State's second winner of the Nagurski Trophy, which honors the nation's top defensive player as voted on by the Football Writers Association of America, joining 2006 award winner James Laurinaitis.
“I think he embodies everything on and off the field what this award embraces,” said Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, who served as the keynote speaker for the banquet. “In college football, not many people dominated play the way Chase has played this year.”
In 11 games this season, Young has recorded 16.5 sacks – the most in the Football Bowl Subdivision and a new Ohio State single-season record – among 21 total tackles for loss and 44 total tackles. He has also forced six fumbles, blocked a field goal against Cincinnati and recorded three pass breakups.
When Young isn't making plays himself, he's often drawing double- or even triple-team blocks from his opponent that free up his teammates to make plays.
Led by Young up front, Ohio State's defense has been among college football's elite this season, leading the nation in yards allowed per play (3.93) and ranking second nationally in both points allowed per game (12.5) and yards allowed per game (247.6). The Buckeyes lead the nation with 51 sacks and 119 tackles for loss, and thanks in part to their defensive improvement, they're 13-0 and the No. 2 seed in this year's College Football Playoff.
The Nagurski Trophy is one of several awards Young has already won for his performance this season, also including the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award and the Chicago Tribune Silver Football, which honors the Big Ten's best overall player as selected by the conference's coaches. He was also named Monday as one of this year's finalists for the Heisman Trophy, becoming the first defensive player to earn an invitation to the ceremony since Michigan's Jabrill Peppers in 2016.