There’s been only one multiple-time winner of the Stats Perform FCS Buck Buchanan Award, but Southern University’s Jordan Lewis will be in a rush to match that feat this fall.
A pass rush, that is.
Lewis, who after the spring season was named the national defensive player of the year in college football’s Division I subdivision, headlined a preseason watch list of 35 players that Stats Perform announced for the 2021 season on Thursday.
The 6-foot-3 Lewis ranked No. 1 in the FCS in sacks and tackles for loss as well as lost yardage in both statistics. But 13 other spring finalists, including third-place finisher Stone Snyder of VMI, are on the standout preseason watch list, which is as follows:
Jared Brinkman, Northern Iowa (2020-21 finalist)
Isaiah Chambers, McNeese (2020-21 finalist)
DJ Coleman, Jacksonville State
Mike Greene, James Madison (2020-21 finalist)
Malik Hamm, Lafayette
Jahari Kay, Sam Houston (2020-21 finalist)
Jordan Lewis, Southern (2020-21 recipient)
Shaundre Mims, Charleston Southern
Kobie Turner, Richmond
Troy Andersen, Montana State
Logan Backhaus, South Dakota State
Ryan Greenhagen, Fordham (2020-21 finalist)
Willie Eubanks III, The Citadel (2019 finalist)
Tre Jones, Central Connecticut State
James Kaczor, North Dakota State
La’akea Kaho’ohanohano-Davis, Southern Utah (2020-21 finalist)
Titus Leo, Wagner (2020-21 finalist)
Jace Lewis, Montana
Forrest Rhyne, Villanova
Stone Snyder, VMI (2020-21 finalist)
Jeremiah Tyler, Princeton
Tre Walker, Idaho (2020-21 finalist)
Tristan Wheeler, Richmond (2020-21 finalist)
Anthony Adams, Portland State (2019 finalist)
Markquese Bell, Florida A&M
Qua Brown, Southern Illinois
Anthony Budd, Monmouth
Decobie Durant, South Carolina State
Brandon Easterling, Dayton (2019 finalist)
Chris Edmonds, Samford (2020-21 finalist)
Marcis Floyd, Murray State
Nicario Harper, Jacksonville State (2020-21 finalist)
Kordell Jackson, Austin Peay (2019 and 2020-21 finalist)
Ferlando Jordan, Southeastern Louisiana
Zyon McCollum, Sam Houston
More players can join the watch list during the regular season, and a national media panel will select the winner following it. Dexter Coakley won the inaugural Buchanan in 1995 and repeated a year later, but there hasn’t been a two-time recipient since, although other past winners such as Rashean Mathis, Jared Allen and Arthur Moats joined Coakley with excellent NFL careers.
Also this season, Stats Perform 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.