PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Senior cornerback Tye Smith of the Towson University football team has been named to the 2014 Buck Buchanan Award Watch List, it was announced on Thursday. The award is given out annually to the FCS’ most outstanding defensive player.
The Buchanan Award will celebrate its 20th anniversary this season and will be presented by The Sports Network at the FCS national awards banquet on December 15.
Past recipients of the Buchanan Award include two-time winner Dexter Coakley (former Dallas Cowboy), Jared Allen (Chicago Bears), Rashean Mathis (Detroit Lions) and Kroy Biermann (Atlanta Falcons).
This year’s widespread, 20-player watch list breaks down into six defensive ends, five linebackers, five safeties, two defensive tackles and two cornerbacks.
Smith, who last week was named to the Beyond Sports Network Preseason FCS All-America team, is coming off a sensational junior campaign. The cornerback was named second team All-Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) after ranking eighth in the league in passes defended (14) and third on the team with 103 tackles. Smith started 15 of 16 games and recorded 4.5 tackles for a loss. He had one sack, two interceptions, recorded 12 pass breakups, forced two fumbles and recovered one.
The Buck Buchanan Award Watch List can undergo revision during the 2014 season. Ballots will be sent to 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.
2014 Buck Buchanan Award Watch List
Quinn Backus, Coastal Carolina
Tony Bell, UT Martin
James Cowser, Southern Utah
Daniel Fitzpatrick, Tennessee State
Jacob Hagen, Liberty
Ronnie Hamlin, Eastern Washington
Colten Heagle, North Dakota State
Stephen Hodge, Fordham
Zach Hodges, Harvard
O.J. Mau, Gardner- Webb
Harlan Miller, Southeastern Louisiana
Troy Moore, Sacred Heart
Mike Reilly, William & Mary
Caleb Schaffitzel, Missouri State
Tye Smith, Towson
Jaquiski Tartt, Samford
Lynden Trail, Norfolk State
Davis Tull, Chattanooga
Zach Wagenmann, Montana
Jonathan Woodard, Central Arkansas