The 2014 Bronko Nagurski watch list has two Hokies in defensive back Kendall Fuller and defensive tackle Luther Maddy.
Fuller led the Hokies as a freshman with six interceptions, 17 passes defended and 12 break ups. He finished fourth on Tech's squad with 58 total tackles including 2.5 tackles for loss and half a sack. He also had one seamless forced fumble and recovery documented below.
Fuller has to be considered one of the most talented true freshman to have played under Frank Beamer and one can only hope he continues to progress and improve as a sophomore.
Joining Fuller on the Nagurski list is Luther Maddy. One of only 10 tackles on the list, Maddy was a disruptive force for the Hokies finishing just behind Fuller with 55 total tackles and adding lots of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. He had 13.5 tackles for loss including 6.5 sacks. Maddy also tallied 16 QB hurries, good for third on the team.
Maddy also made the cut for the initial Outland Trophy watch list as one of only 14 defensive lineman named.
Maddy is one of nine ACC players on the Outland list which ties the conference for third most behind the SEC (19) and Pac-12 (11).
Fuller and Maddy bring the ACC total on the Nagurski watch list to 12. That's good for fourth most (The Pac-12 leads with 18).
Tech punter A.J. Hughes is also in the running for a postseason award with his selection to the Ray Guy Award watch list. A wildly inconsistent offense meant Hughes was heavily relied on last season punting 78 times for an average of 44.1 yards per kick. 22 times Hughes booted one 50 yards or more and he nailed 24 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line.
With a new starting quarterback and Frank Beamer's tendency to play for field position, there's no question Hughes will once again be asked to step up frequently for the Hokies.
Tech is guaranteed to face a handful of players on these lists. Defensive linemen Michael Bennett and Joey Bosa will line up for Ohio State in Tech's second game. Bennett made both the Nagurski and Outland lists while Bosa joined him on the Nagurski watch.
As if that weren't challenging enough, Buckeye punter Cameron Johnston made the Ray Guy watch list. If you like great punters, Tech-OSU will be the game of the year.
Other punt-offs include Tech squaring off with North Carolina's Thomas Hibbard and Duke's Will Monday.
From the Outland watch list the Hokies will attempt to fight through blocks by guards Shaquille Mason of Georgia Tech and Laken Tomlinson of Duke.
The Nagurski list boasts a number of talented defenders the Hokies will match up with. Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman, Virginia defensive back Anthony Harris, Duke defensive back Jeremy Cash plus Duke linebacker Kelby Brown are all on the regular season schedule.