Wells Collects Conference, National Honors

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Go Gophers! Derrick Wells
Go Gophers!
Derrick Wells was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.
Go Gophers!
The awards keep coming for sophomore safety Derrick Wells.

On Monday, he was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after his breakout performance in a 30-27 triple overtime win at UNLV last Thursday.

Wells, who made his first career start against the Rebels, grabbed two interceptions and tied for the team lead with eight total tackles. His six solo tackles were a game high.

Wells first interception set up a Minnesota field goal that put the Gophers up 13-10 in the fourth quarter. His second interception came on first down in triple overtime and helped secure the season-opening win for Minnesota.

Wells, who also led the Gophers with two pass breakups, is the first Minnesota player to earn Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors since Kim Royston was recognized on Nov. 28, 2011. Royston made 13 tackles and also had one sack and one pass breakup.

On Monday, Wells was also named the College Football Performance national Defensive Back Performer of the Week.

On Tuesday, Wells was named the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week for games of the weekend of Sept. 1. The award is named after Minnesota legend Bronko Nagurski, who played for the Gophers from 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.

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 during a banquet that the Charlotte Touchdown Club sponsors at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.

The FWAA has sponsored a National Defensive Player of the Year award since 1993 and has named a National Defensive Player of the Week since the 2001 season.

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