Brown, a 6-5, 318-pound senior defensive lineman, made a team-high 12.5 tackles for loss and recorded 50 tackles for the Tigers in 2019, adding four sacks.
Consistently attracting double teams, he created opportunities for teammates to make plays. Brown earned SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors after Auburn’s games against Texas A&M, Florida and Ole Miss.
“Derrick is one of the best all-around football players in the entire country. Any position,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “It’s not a coincidence he’s up for a lot of these awards. He’s a real special player. He’s had an unbelievable year. He’s played his best football in the biggest games when they matter the most. That’s the sign of a great player.”
Brown is Auburn’s first defensive player of the year winner since the awards were split into positions in 2003 – before that, the only defensive players to win SEC player of the year were Reggie White (Tennessee, 1983), Tracy Rocker (Auburn, 1988) and David Pollack (Georgia, 2002).
Brown will be in Atlanta Thursday for the College Football Awards. He is a finalist for the Outland Trophy, Senior CLASS Award and Lott Impact Trophy, among other honors.
Nix, the first true freshman quarterback to start Auburn’s season opener in 73 years, rewrote the Tigers’ record book for first-year QBs.
Breaking Stan White’s 1990 freshman marks, the 6-2, 207-pound Nix completed 185 of 328 passes for 2,216 yards and 14 touchdowns. He added 300 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.
“He’s got something special to him,” Malzahn said after Nix helped Auburn beat Alabama 48-45 in the Iron Bowl. “He’ll win a championship before he gets out of here. His leadership, the moment’s not too big. He’s got really good command. He’s got the special traits. The future’s going to be a lot of fun with him leading us.”
No. 9 Auburn will play No. 16 Minnesota on New Year’s Day in the 2020 Outback Bowl at noon CT.
Here are the SEC’s 2019 individual award winners:
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Joe Burrow, LSU
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Derrick Brown, Auburn
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Bo Nix, Auburn
SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia
JACOBS BLOCKING TROPHY
Andrew Thomas, Georgia
COACH OF THE YEAR
Ed Orgeron, LSU