Six join Buck Buchanan Award Watch List

(STATS) – Six players were nominated to the STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award Watch List for national defensive player of the year Wednesday.

The Buchanan Award, awarded since 1995, has sent past winners such as Dexter Coakley, Rashean Mathis, Jared Allen, Arthur Moats and Kyle Emanuel on to the NFL.

The new nominees to the watch list:

Brandon Bryant, Lafayette, LB, Sr., 5-11, 225, Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Statistics: 116 Tackles (56 Solo), 7 TFL, 2.5 Sacks, 1 INT, 1 QBH (9 games)

Josh Buss, Montana, LB, R-Jr., 6-2, 220, Boise, Idaho

Statistics: 89 Tackles (45 Solos), 12.5 TFL, 5.5 Sacks, 1 INT, 4 PBU, 2 QBH (9 games)

De’Arius Christmas, Grambling State, LB, Jr., 5-10, 220, Vicksburg, Mississippi

Statistics: 63 Tackles (33 Solo), 12 TFL, 3.5 Sacks, 1 PBU, 5 QBH, 2 FF (9 games)

Malik Duncan, Saint Francis, CB, Sr., 5-10, 205, Cleveland

Statistics: 31 Tackles (22 Solo), 3 INT, 4 PBU, 1 QBH, 1 FR (9 games)

Matthew Oplinger, Yale, OLB, Sr., 6-3, 242, Summit, New Jersey

Statistics: 29 Tackles (23 Solo), 12.5 TFL, 9.5 Sacks, 1 PBU (8 games)

Jaison Williams, Austin Peay, DE, 6-1, 225, So., Trussville, Alabama

Statistics: 39 Tackles (18 TFL), 11.5 TFL, 9.5 Sacks, 1 PBU, 9 QBH, 1 FR, 4 FF (10 games)

Nominated previously to the watch list were defensive linemen Pat Afriyie of Colgate, Keontre Anderson of Jackson State, Andrew Ankrah of James Madison, Anthony Ellis of Charleston Southern, Ahmad Gooden of Samford, P.J. Hall of Sam Houston State, Kurt Holuba of Princeton, Darius Jackson of Jacksonville State, Greg Menard of North Dakota State, Ebenezer Ogundeko of Tennessee State and Jonathan Peterson of San Diego; linebackers Nick DeLuca of North Dakota State, Garrett Dolan of Houston Baptist, Jared Farley of Northern Iowa, Mario Jenkins of Idaho State, Darius Leonard of South Carolina State, Warren Messer of Elon, Christian Rozeboom of South Dakota State, Brett Taylor of Western Illinois and Sione Teuhema of Southeastern Louisiana; and defensive backs Mike Basile of Monmouth, Marlon Bridges of Jacksonville State, Davontae Harris of Illinois State, Cole Reyes of North Dakota, Rob Rolle of Villanova, Tremon Smith of Central Arkansas and Kailik Williams of The Citadel.

A national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will vote on 25 finalists following the regular season.

Also this season, STATS will present the Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year), Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman player of the year), Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year) and Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

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