Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) – If there is a trait shared by candidates
on the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List, it’s playing with a relentless motor.
Which is how the award’s namesake played during his Hall of Fame career.
On Tuesday, four more players were nominated for the Buchanan Award which
honors the outstanding defensive player in the FCS. They were defensive ends
Jeff Covitz of Bryant and Ryan Delaire of Towson, nose tackle Javon Hargrave of
South Carolina State and strong safety Donald Payne of Stetson.
The Buchanan, presented by The Sports Network, is celebrating its 20th
anniversary this season.
The newcomers to the Watch List:
Jeff Covitz, DE, Bryant, Sr., 6-2, 255, Reading, Massachusetts
Covitz has camped out in opposing backfields throughout his career at Bryant,
but this year his defensive excellence has helped the Bulldogs to first place
in the Northeast Conference and into the national rankings for the first time
in program history. In nine games, he has 47 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss,
six sacks and seven quarterback hurries. The senior is on his way to becoming a
three-time all-conference first-team selection.
Ryan Delaire, DE, Towson, Sr., 6-4, 250, Bloomfield, Connecticut
A year after helping CAA Football member Towson reach the FCS championship
game, the former University of Massachusetts player is elevating himself for
NFL Draft consideration. He brings good size and speed from the edge with an
attention to detail that allows him to pounce at the right time. He has 61
tackles with 14.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, three quarterback hurries, three
forced fumbles and one pass breakup in 10 games.
Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina State, Jr., 6-2, 295, Salisbury, North
Look no further than the FCS-record six sacks that Hargrave collected in a win
over South Carolina State’s rival Bethune-Cookman on Oct. 25, yet he’s been
crushing through offensive lines all season. With 22 tackles for loss and 15
sacks, Hargrave ranks first in the FCS in tackles for loss per game (2.3) and
second in sacks per game (1.5). He also has 50 tackles, seven quarterback
hurries, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one pass breakup in 10
games. SCSU has a share of first place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Donald Payne, SS, Stetson, So., 6-0, 215, Fayetteville, Georgia
Payne was named the national freshman of the week after Stetson’s first-ever
game in 2013 and hasn’t looked back since then, filling the stats sheet in
incredible ways at the Pioneer Football League school. He has 150 tackles in 10
games after a recent four-game run in which he has collected over 20 tackles
three times. An athletic playmaker who sets up in different spots on the field,
Payne has 15 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, four interceptions, seven pass
breakups, six quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
Other players on the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List are nose guard O.J. Mau of
Gardner-Webb; defensive ends James Cowser of Southern Utah, Kyle Emanuel of
North Dakota State, Zach Hodges of Harvard, Mike Reilly of William & Mary,
Davis Tull of Chattanooga, Zack Wagenmann of Montana and Jonathan Woodard of
Central Arkansas; linebackers Quinn Backus of Coastal Carolina, Tony Bell of UT
Martin, Don Cherry of Villanova, Isiah Corbett of Southeastern Louisiana, Nick
Dzubnar of Cal Poly, Darnell Sankey of Sacramento State, Lynden Trail of
Norfolk State and Connor Underwood of Indiana State; cornerback Tye Smith of
Towson; and safeties Jacob Hagen of Liberty, Colten Heagle of North Dakota
State, Caleb Schaffitzel of Missouri State and Jaquiski Tartt of Samford.
Following the regular season, the Buck Buchanan Award winner will be selected
by a national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations
directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries.
The Sports Network also presents the Walter Payton, Jerry Rice and Eddie
Robinson awards. The Payton Award honors the outstanding player in the FCS, the
Rice Award goes to the FCS freshman of the year and the Robinson Award is
bestowed upon the FCS coach of the year.
The 2014 FCS Awards package can be found at http://tinyurl.com/n5ysh8x.