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Craig Haley | | August 1, 2019

Watch List Named for 25th STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award

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CHICAGO  There's no doubt a special defensive player will emerge in a special year for the STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award.

A watch list of 25 nominees was announced Thursday for the silver anniversary season of the Buchanan, which honors the defensive player of the year in college football's Division I subdivision.

The list included at least one player from all 13 FCS conferences.

WALTER PAYTON AWARD: Complete history and what to know about the FCS' top annual honor

First awarded in 1995, the Buchanan has sent past winners such as Dexter Coakley, Rashean Mathis, Jared Allen, Arthur Moats and Kyle Emanuel on to the NFL. Southeast Missouri linebacker Zach Hall returns to the list after winning the award as a junior last season.

Named to the preseason watch list were:

Bryson Armstrong, Kennesaw State, LB, R-Jr., 5-11, 212

Earned All-Big South first-team honors in each of first two seasons, totaling 131 solo tackles (176 overall) in that time; was the first defensive player to win STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award in 2016

Marlon Bridges, Jacksonville State, S, R-Sr., 6-0, 2000

Named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference first team in three straight seasons, earning 2016 newcomer of the year; hard-hitting tackler with nine career interceptions

Jabril Cox, North Dakota State, LB, R-Jr., 6-3, 233

Was named 2018 Missouri Valley Football Conference defensive player of the year as a sophomore; became the first Bison with interception returns for touchdowns in back-to-back games in 51 years

Abu Daramy-Swaray, Colgate, CB, Sr., 5-10, 190

Quarterbacks stray away from the two-time Patriot League first-teamer's side of the field. All five of his career interceptions have come in the last two seasons; also a standout returner

Abu Daramy-Swaray

Cam Gill, Wagner, LB, Sr., 6-2, 230

Racked up 24 tackles for loss and 13½ sacks as the 2018 Northeast Conference defensive player of the year; had 5½ tackles for loss in season-ending win over Robert Morris

Darin Greenfield, South Dakota, DE, R-Sr., 6-3, 240

Top pass rusher in the Missouri Valley Conference with 41 tackles for loss, 19 sacks and 33 quarterback hurries in his career; two-time first-team all-conference pick

Jonas Griffith, Indiana State, LB, R-Sr., 6-4, 230

Led the Missouri Valley Conference in total tackles (132) and the FCS in solo tackles (81); had 18 tackles in back-to-back games

Zach Hall, Southeast Missouri, LB, Sr., 6-0, 230

Seeking to become the second two-time winner of the Buck Buchanan Award (Appalachian State linebacker Dexter Coakley in 1995-96); led the FCS in total tackles (168)

Adrian Hope, Furman, LB, R-So., 6-1, 210

Tied for the FCS high in sacks (15) and led in sacks per game (1.5) as a freshman; his five forced fumbles were one off the national high

Adrian Hope

Sully Laiche, Nicholls, DE, Sr., 6-2, 270

Two-time All-Southland Conference first-team selection; has totaled 39½ tackles for loss and 25½ sacks in his career

Da'Jon Lee, Saint Francis, LB, Sr., 6-2, 235

Ranked No. 1 in the FCS with six forced fumbles as a junior; All-Northeast Conference standout has 37 tackles for loss and 16 sacks through three seasons

Franklin "Mac" McCain III, North Carolina A&T, CB, R-Jr., 5-11, 173

Athletic cover corner has been named to the All-MEAC first team in each of his first two seasons; has eight interceptions, including four pick-sixes, with an incredible 374 return yards

Solomon Muhammad, Alcorn State, LB, Sr., 6-1, 235

Contributed nine tackles for loss and four sacks to SWAC champion Alcorn State's FCS-leading totals in both categories; All-SWAC first-teamer was second on team in tackles (64) and first in QB hits (nine)

Dante Olson, Montana, LB, R-Sr., 6-3, 237

Finished third in voting for 2018 Buck Buchanan Award; set the school record with 151 tackles and led the FCS with 13.7 stops per game

Aaron Patrick, Eastern Kentucky, DE, R-Sr., 6-4, 245

Made the All-Ohio Valley Conference first team in 2016 and '18; dominated with 53 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, 7½ sacks, 15 quarterback hurries and one pass breakup as a junior

Manny Patterson, Maine, CB, Sr., 5-10, 180

Was an All-CAA first-teamer in helping Maine to its deepest FCS playoff run in 2018 (semifinals); has 52 career passes defended, reaching double figures in all three seasons

Manny Patterson

Nasir Player, ETSU, DE, R-Sr., 6-5, 271

All-Southern Conference pass rusher helped ETSU to a share of the conference title and its first playoff bid since a return to football in 2015; had 11 tackles for loss, six sacks and 11 QB hurries

Rashad Robinson, James Madison, CB, R-Sr., 5-11, 185

Missed 2018 season with an injury after being named the CAA preseason defensive player of the year; tied for third nationally in 2017 with seven interceptions

MORE: 25 named to 2019 STATS FCS Walter Payton Award preseason watch list

Tyree Robinson, ETSU, S, Jr., 5-11, 184

Led the Southern Conference in interceptions (six) and had 71 tackles and 15 passes defended; helped Buccaneers to a share of SoCon title after being picked for eighth place

Christian Rozeboom, South Dakota State, LB, Sr., 6-2, 225

Ranks No. 1 among all active FCS players with 364 career tackles, leading SDSU in each of his three seasons; already a three-time first-team selection in the Missouri Valley Conference

Isiah Swann, Dartmouth, CB, Sr., 6-0, 190

FCS leader with nine interceptions in only 10 games as a junior; captured the Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League defensive player of the year

Swann Dartmouth

Chris Terrell, Central Arkansas, DE, R-Sr., 6-3, 270

Two-time All-Southland Conference first-team selection; nearly 36 percent of career tackles are for losses (46½ out of 130), including 21 sacks

Dorian Walker, Kennesaw State, FS, R-Sr., 6-0, 181

Momentum-changer had four takeaways (three interceptions, one fumble recovery) for Big South's top defense last season; Georgia Tech transfer played cornerback in first season with the Owls in 2017

Will Warner, Drake, S, R-Jr., 6-3, 201

All-Pioneer Football League pick had eight interceptions for 223 return yards in 2018; 41 of 50 tackles were unassisted

Nick Wheeler, Colgate, DE, Sr., 6-2, 255

Anchored defensive line as Colgate led the FCS in defense, posting five shutouts; had 51 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and nine sacks in second straight appearance on the Patriot League first team

More players can join the watch list during the 2019 season. A national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will select the winner 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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