LINCOLN–(NU Athletics July 26)–Nebraska edge rusher Ochaun Mathis was one of 85 players nationally named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list announced Tuesday. The Nagurski Trophy is presented annually to the nation’s defensive player of the year.
Mathis will play his first season for the Huskers this fall after spending the last four years at TCU. He played in 38 games with the Horned Frogs and started all 34 contests over the last three seasons. In his TCU career, Mathis recorded 135 tackles, 30.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks with four pass breakups.
Mathis was a second-team All-Big 12 selection in both 2020 and 2021. This summer, he was recognized by On3 as the top edge rusher transfer in the country. Last season at TCU, Mathis started all 12 games and totaled 45 tackles, 4.0 sacks and 7.0 tackles for loss.
He had a breakout 2020 campaign for the Horned Frogs, starting all 10 games in the pandemic-shortened season. Mathis led the Big 12 and ranked 12th nationally in sacks per game, averaging nearly 1.0 sack per game with nine sacks in 10 games. He totaled 46 tackles in 2020 with 14.0 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Mathis started all 12 games of the 2019 season, finishing with 40 tackles, 9.0 TFLs and 2.5 sacks. He played in four games and totaled three tackles and a half-tackle for loss in 2018, when he redshirted.
Mathis is the second Blackshirt to be recognized as a candidate for a major national award in as many days, as linebacker Luke Reimer was named to the Butkus Award watch list on Monday.