Following a season spent in opposing offensive backfields, Tennessee State defensive end Terrell Allen was on the victory stand Saturday night, receiving the 2023 Buck Buchanan Award as the national defensive player of the year in Division I FCS college football.

Allen, one of 30 finalists for the 29th annual Buchanan, was announced as the winner at the Stats Perform FCS National Awards Banquet, presented by FedEx Ground, in Frisco, Texas. Linebackers Dylan Kelly of UAlbany and Billy Shaeffer of Lafayette finished second and third, respectively, in voting by a national panel.

The 6-foot, 275-pound Allen, a senior from North Little Rock, Arkansas, was named the defensive player of the year in the inaugural Big South-OVC Football Association. In the regular season, he led the FCS in sacks (14.5), sack yardage (123), tackles for loss (28) and tackle yardage for loss (149). He had a four-game span in which he totaled at least four TFLs, including 6.5 (4.5 were sacks) against Lindenwood.

In 11 games, Allen had 65 tackles, including 44 solos, 10 quarterback hurries, five forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one pass breakup.

Kelly, the Buchanan runner-up, was third in the FCS regular season in tackles per game (12.1) and wound up with 159 overall in 15 games, including the FCS playoffs. Shaeffer had 83 tackles, 21.5 TFLs, 10 sacks and five forced fumbles in 12 games, including one in the playoffs.

The Buck Buchanan Award is named for legendary defensive lineman Junious “Buck” Buchanan, who starred at Grambling State as part of his Hall of Fame career. First presented in 1995, the award has a distinguished history of recipients, including two-time winner Dexter Coakley, Rashean Mathis, Jared Allen and Arthur Moats.


2023 Buck Buchanan Award Voting Results

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. The final number is the combined point total.

1. Terrell Allen, DE, Tennessee State: 33-5-2-3-2-199

2. Dylan Kelly, LB, UAlbany: 6-4-10-6-2-90

3. Billy Shaeffer, LB, Lafayette: 3-4-8-4-3-66

4. Ty French, DE, Gardner-Webb: 2-7-6-1-6-64

5. Anton Juncaj, DE, UAlbany: 1-8-2-4-5-56

6. PJ Jules, S, Southern Illinois: 0-5-4-5-5-47

7. Micah Davey, LB, McNeese: 2-3-3-5-5-46

8. Jacob Dobbs, LB, Holy Cross: 1-5-4-3-1-44

9. Amir Abdullah, LB, Illinois State: 0-6-1-3-2-35

10. Finn Claypool, DE, Drake: 0-3-1-5-2-27

11. Brock Mogensen, LB, South Dakota: 3-1-1-0-1-23

12. Jay Person, DE, Chattanooga: 2-1-0-2-0-18

13.(tie) Braxton Hill, LB, Montana: 0-1-2-2-0-14

13.(tie) Kenny Gallop Jr., S, Howard: 1-1-1-0-2-14

15. Logan Blake, LB, Eastern Kentucky: 0-1-1-2-0-11

16.(tie) Brody Grebe, DE, Montana State: 1-0-1-0-1-9

16.(tie) Daylan Dotson, DE, UT Martin: 0-0-1-2-2-9

16.(tie) Isaiah Major, LB, Florida A&M: 0-0-2-0-3-9

16.(tie) Jalyx Hunt, LB, Houston Christian: 1-1-0-0-0-9

20.(tie) Colton Adams, LB, Alabama State: 0-0-1-2-1-8

20.(tie) Lance Wise Jr., S, Mercer: 0-0-1-1-3-8

22.(tie) Erick Hunter, LB, Morgan State: 0-0-2-0-0-6

22.(tie) Logan Kopp, LB, North Dakota State: 0-0-1-1-1-6

22.(tie) Winston Reid, LB, Weber State: 0-0-1-0-3-6

25.(tie) David Walker, DE, Central Arkansas: 0-0-0-2-1-5

25.(tie) Thor Griffith, DT, Harvard: 0-0-0-2-1-5

27. Eric O’Neill, DE, LIU: 0-0-0-0-3-3

28. Tristan Wheeler, LB, Richmond: 0-0-0-1-0-2

29. Steven Parker, DE, UIW: 0-0-0-0-1-1

30. Nate Lynn, DE, William & Mary: 0-0-0-0-0-0