The award is given annually to the nation's top defensive player. OSU's James Laurinaitis won the award in 2006.

Ohio State defensive end Chase Young has been named one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is awarded annually to college football's best defensive player.

Young, who will return on Saturday against Penn State from a two-game suspension related to an improper loan, leads the country in sacks per game (1.69). His total of 13½ sacks is tied for second nationally despite missing the Buckeyes' past two games, against Maryland and Rutgers games.

Young is second nationally in tackles for loss with 15½. The junior is the leader of a Buckeyes defense that ranks first nationally in several categories, including scoring defense (9.8 points per game) and yardage allowed (216.4).

Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown, Georgia safety J.R. Reed, Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons and Minnesota defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr., are the other finalists.

Young is the fourth Ohio State player to be a Nagurski finalist. James Laurinaitis won the award in 2006. The Nagurski Trophy banquet is Dec. 9 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ohio State coach Ryan Day is the keynote speaker.

Earlier Wednesday, Day was named one of 22 semifinalists for the George Munger collegiate coach of the year.

brabinowitz@dispatch.com

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