Throughout the season, Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown has been turning heads in the SEC but now he’s on the national stage.
Thursday, Brown earned the Outland Trophy National Player of the Month alongside Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas. The Outland Trophy, presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, is awarded annually to the nation’s best interior lineman and the monthly honors are chosen by the Football Writers Association of America.
Brown, a 6-5, 318-pound senior from Sugar Hill, Georgia, has tackle statistics that have progressively improved, parlayed into an outstanding October. He had seven tackles at LSU on Oct. 26 and five against Mississippi State and at Florida the two prior weeks. Despite only a three-game month, almost half (17) of his 37 total tackles (fourth on Auburn’s defense) came in October. In a five-game September, he had but 13 tackles.
On the season, Brown has eight tackles for 42 yards of losses and with 4 sacks.
Brown started October well with five tackles, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and a sack Oct. 5 at Florida. Despite Auburn’s 24-13 loss, he earned the second of his three SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors. He now has 151 career tackles, including 29 for a loss and 13 sacks.
Auburn’s defensive front has been dominant with Brown plugging the middle, but also on the stat sheets. The Tigers have at least five tackles for loss in every game this season and their 64 TFLs are tied for 19th nationally and first in the SEC. The Tigers also lead the league with 7.1 TFLs per game in SEC play.
Brown’s Tigers host Thomas’ Bulldogs in a key SEC game Saturday, Nov. 16.
The recipient of the 74th Outland Trophy will be announced during ESPN’s The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 12, live from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. Up to seven semifinalists will be named Nov. 20 and three finalists for the award will be announced Nov. 26.
The Outland Trophy is the third-oldest major college football award. Created in 1946 when Dr. John Outland presented the FWAA with a financial contribution to initiate the award, the Outland Trophy has been given to the best interior lineman in college football ever since. Dr. Outland, an All-American at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1890s, eventually took up practice in Kansas City, Missouri.
An avid outdoorsman, Dr. Outland believed linemen did not get the credit they deserved and wanted an award to recognize them.