Three invited to Buck Buchanan Award announcement

By CRAIG HALEY

STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - Three record-setting players will decide the highest individual defensive honor in the FCS.

Junior linebackers Zach Hall of Southeast Missouri and Dante Olson of Montana and senior defensive end Derick Roberson of Sam Houston State were invited on Tuesday to the announcement of the 2018 STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award, which goes to the outstanding defensive player in college football's Division I subdivision.

The Buchanan, named for the Pro and College Football Hall-of-Famer and presented since 1995, will be handed out at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation Jan. 4 in Frisco, Texas - on the eve of the national championship game. Dexter Coakley, Rashean Mathis, Jared Allen, Arthur Moats and Kyle Emanuel are among past winners who have gone on to the NFL.

Hall, from Louisville, set Southeast Missouri's single-season record with 168 tackles - the most in the FCS - while his team earned its first playoff win and finished 9-4. The Ohio Valley Conference defensive player of the year racked up 12 tackles for loss, two sacks, four interceptions, two pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles, one blocked kick, one defensive touchdown and one safety.

Olson, from Medford, Oregon, has recorded the season's FCS single-game high with 24 tackles, finishing with a school-record 151 overall. His 13.7 tackles per game rank No. 1 nationally, and the All-Big Sky Conference first-team selection had 11 tackles for loss, six sacks, two interceptions, three pass breakups, five quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles in 11 games.

Roberson, from San Antonio, tied Sam Houston's single-season record with 15 sacks, ranking second in the FCS with an average of 1.36 per game. His five forced fumbles are tied for the second-most nationally, and the All-Southland Conference first-team selection had 68 tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, two pass breakups, a blocked kick and a safety in 11 games.

A national panel of 153 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries voted on the Buck Buchanan Award following the regular season. Voters selected a Top 5 on their ballot.

The 2018 Buck Buchanan Award results for fourth through 25th place were as follows:

4. Jabril Cox, LB, North Dakota State: 22-13-10-9-12-222

5. Isiah Swann, CB, Dartmouth: 5-22-17-10-18-202

6. Jimmy Moreland, CB, James Madison: 13-16-11-14-10-200

7. B.J. Blunt, LB, McNeese: 12-4-15-13-17-164

8. Nick Wheeler, DE, Colgate: 9-5-11-8-12-126

9. Robbie Grimsley, S, North Dakota State: 7-8-5-10-11-113

10. Anthony Gore Jr., LB, Kennesaw State: 2-5-5-6-4-61

11. Darryl Johnson Jr., DE, North Carolina A&T: 1-4-4-6-4-49

12. Mason Moe, LB, UC Davis: 2-4-0-8-2-44

13. (Tie) Khalen Saunders, DT, Western Illinois: 1-5-3-3-2-42

13. (Tie) Sterling Sheffield, LB, Maine: 1-1-6-5-5-42

15. Troy Reeder, LB, Delaware: 1-3-3-4-2-36

16. Cam Gill, LB, Wagner: 1-1-5-3-3-33

17. Isaiah Mack, DE, Chattanooga: 2-1-1-6-3-32

18. Will Warner, S, Drake: 1-0-2-3-5-22

19. Thomas Costigan, LB, Bryant: 1-2-1-0-3-19

20. (Tie) Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware: 0-1-2-1-3-15

20. (Tie) Darin Greenfield, DE, South Dakota: 0-2-1-2-0-15

22. Ahmad Gooden, DE, Samford: 0-1-2-0-4-14

23. De'Arius Christmas, LB, Grambling State: 0-1-1-2-1-12

24. (Tie) Nick Miller, LB, Penn: 0-1-0-0-2-6

25. (Tie) Nasir Player, DL, ETSU: 0-1-0-1-0-6

A first-place vote was worth five points, a second-place vote four points, a third-place vote three points, a fourth-place vote two points and a fifth-place vote one point.

Updated December 4, 2018

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