Minnesota safety Derrick Wells has been named the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week for games of the weekend of Sept. 1. Wells, a 6-0, 205-pound sophomore from Lehigh Acres, Fla., made the most of his first career start with two critical interceptions to boost the Golden Gophers to a 30-27 triple overtime victory at UNLV last Thursday. The two interceptions were also the first for Wells, who played cornerback last season. Wells' first interception in the middle of the fourth quarter set up Minnesota's go-ahead field goal. His second interception on the third overtime possession put the Golden Gophers in position for the game-winning field goal. Wells tied for the team lead with eight tackles on the evening.
Wells will be added to the 2012 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. Five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy will be announced by the Football Writers Association of America on Nov. 15. The winner will be revealed on Dec. 3. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is given in memory of the legendary All-American lineman at Minnesota (1927-29). Nagurski dominated college football at Minnesota as a bruising fullback and defensive tackle and could have been an All-America at any position. He then became a star for professional football's Chicago Bears in the 1930s.