The latest award to cut down its list of candidates is the Nagurski Award, which released its list of five finalists on Thursday. The Nagursky Trophy is given annually by the Charlotte Touchdown Club to the best all-around defensive player in the country.

Only three conferences are represented among the five finalists: The SEC, ACC and Big Ten.

Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

Lamarcus Joyner, CB, Florida State

C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

Michael Sam, DE, Missouri

None of this year's finalists were finalists for the award last season, when Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o won.