Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) – There are certain players who keep
offensive coordinators up at night in trying to game plan against their speed
They can make for some late nights.
Georgetown defensive end Alec May, Stony Brook safety/linebacker Christian
Ricard and Northern Iowa defensive tackle Xavier Williams have camped out in
opposing backfields this season to ruin some of the game plans. Their
spectacular play led to the trio being named to the Buck Buchanan Award Watch
List on Tuesday.
The Buck Buchanan, which is bestowed on the outstanding defensive player in the
FCS by The Sports Network, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this season.
The three newcomers to the Watch List:
Alec May, DE, Georgetown, 6-4, 255, Sr., Wrentham, Massachusetts
Since late in his junior season, May has been one of the leading sack artists
in the FCS. This year, he leads the nation with 1.5 sacks per game, and his
total of 15.5 is just a half sack off the top mark. He has 19 tackles for loss
as well as the nation’s highest average of tackles per game (8.0) among
defensive linemen. He also has four pass breakups, three forced fumbles and two
Christian Ricard, S/LB, Stony Brook, Sr., 6-1, 205, Spencer, Massachusetts
Playing the hybrid Rover position in Stony Brook’s 4-2-5 defensive alignment,
Ricard has fueled one of the top-ranked defenses in the FCS. His 20.5 tackles
for loss rank No. 1 in CAA Football, and he’s been well-rounded while leading
the Seawolves in tackles for a second straight season with 86. He also has 8.5
sacks, three pass breakups, two quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and one
Xavier Williams, DT, Northern Iowa, Sr., 6-2, 309, Kansas City, Missouri
UNI ranks second in the FCS with 42 sacks and it has a lot to Williams’ work on
the interior of the defensive line. Extremely quick for his size, Williams
isn’t a plodding defensive tackle as evidenced by his six career blocked kicks.
He’s been ending the regular season with a November flourish and already has
career highs with 76 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Often
commanding double-teams, Williams opens up lanes for other teammates. He also
has three pass breakups.
Other players on the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List are nose guard O.J. Mau of
Gardner-Webb; defensive tackle Javon Hargrave of South Carolina State;
defensive ends Jeff Covitz of Bryant, James Cowser of Southern Utah, Ryan
Delaire of Towson, Kyle Emanuel of North Dakota State, Zach Hodges of Harvard,
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, Lynden Trail of Norfolk State and Connor Underwood of
Indiana State; and safeties Jacob Hagen of Liberty, Colten Heagle of North
Dakota State, Donald Payne of Stetson, Caleb Schaffitzel of Missouri State and
Jaquiski Tartt of Samford.
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 following the regular season.
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.