Hairston, who also earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors, tied an SEC record by returning two interceptions for touchdowns in a 45-28 victory over Vanderbilt in the Music City.
That performance has now put Hairston on the radar for not only all-conference honors, but also national awards. By earning the Bronko Nagurski weekly honor, Hairston is now on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List.
Each week during the regular season, the FWAA has selected a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce finalists for the 2023 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on November 15th.
The national defensive player of the year will be chosen from those finalists who are part of the 2023 FWAA All-America Team and presented with the trophy at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet on December 4th.
Players may be added or removed from the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List during the course of the season. If not already on the list, each week’s honored player is added to it.
The Wildcats have a recent winner of this award in Josh Allen, who earned the trophy in 2018 following one of the best seasons a Kentucky defensive player has ever had.
While it’s still early in the season, Hairston has certainly had an amazing start that now has him on one watch list for a major defensive award.