Auburn defensive end Nick Fairley was beaten out by Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as college football's top defensive player.
The award was given out by the Football Writers Association of America at a banquet in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday night.
Fairley, who earned Associated Press SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors earlier Monday, led the SEC in both sacks (10.5) and tackles for a loss (21), setting a school record in the latter.
The junior remains a finalist for the Lombardi Award (top lineman) and Chuck Bednarik Award (top defensive player). Both awards will be presented in Houston — the Lombardi on Wednesday and Bednarik on Thursday.
Bowers, a junior, had 15.5 sacks and 25 tackles for a loss this year.