USC linebacker Su’a Cravens and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson were named to the watchlist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented annually by the Football Writers Assn. of America to college football’s defensive player of the year.
Cravens, a junior, made a team-best 17 tackles for losses, including five sacks, in his first season as a linebacker in 2014. He also intercepted a team-best three passes. He was a Freshman All-American as a safety.
Jackson was a Freshman All-American last season after recording 49 tackles and breaking up 10 passes. He also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and played receiver.
Cravens and Jackson also were named to the watchlist for the Bednarik Award, which also honors the sport’s top defensive player.
USC opens the season Sept. 5 against Arkansas State.