FRISCO, Texas – Isaiah Land’s hometown is Buffalo, New York, and he attends Florida A&M in Tallahassee.
The 6-foot-4 edge rusher also resides in opposing backfields.
After being the most dominating pass rusher in FCS college football this season, Land received the 2021 Stats Perform Buck Buchanan Award at the national awards presentation Friday night. The 27th annual award, named for legendary Hall of Fame defensive lineman Junious “Buck” Buchanan, is presented to the national defensive player of the year in Division I FCS.
A 50-member, national media panel selected the Buchanan winner from a group of 25 finalists following the regular season. Land, a redshirt junior and a combo defensive end/outside linebacker, was first in the voting over linebackers Troy Andersen of Montana State and Patrick O’Connell of Montana.
Land produced 25.5 tackles for loss, 147 yards in losses, 19 sacks and 121 sack yards in losses, which were all FCS-leading totals during the regular season. Adding in one FCS playoff game and the Southwestern Athletic Conference defensive player of the year finished with 43 total tackles, including 32 solos, six quarterback hurries, three pass breakups, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Andersen, the Big Sky Conference defensive player of the year, has helped lead Montana State to the FCS championship game. Including three postseason games, the senior has racked up 137 tackles with 14 tackles for loss, seven pass breakups and three takeaways, with one an interception return for a touchdown.
O’Connell earned first-team All-Big Sky honors this season. Including the postseason, the redshirt junior had 105 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 14 sacks with three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery for a touchdown. His teammate, cornerback Justin Ford, was fourth in the voting.
Past winners of the Buchanan Award, include two-time recipient Dexter Coakley, Rashean Mathis and Jared Allen.
2021 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.
1. Isaiah Land, DE/LB, Florida A&M: 11-9-8-4-2-125
2. Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State: 15-5-2-0-2-103
3. Patrick O’Connell, LB, Montana: 11-1-4-4-4-83
4. Justin Ford, CB, Montana: 3-7-4-9-4-77
5. James Houston, DE, Jackson State: 4-6-2-1-5-57
6. Darius Joiner, S, Western Illinois: 1-4-5-5-5-51
7. Isaiah Chambers, DE, McNeese: 1-4-5-4-1-45
8. Forrest Rhyne, LB, Villanova: 2-3-1-3-0-31
9. Nate Lynn, DE, William & Mary: 0-4-1-3-4-29
10. Jacob Dobbs, LB, Holy Cross: 0-1-3-3-5-24
11.(tie) Kelechi Anyalebechi, LB, UIW: 0-4-3-0-2-23
11.(tie) Adam Bock, LB, South Dakota State: 1-1-1-4-3-23
13. Stone Snyder, LB, VMI: 1-0-3-1-6-22
14. Devonnsha Maxwell, DE, Chattanooga: 0-1-2-3-2-18
15. Jahari Kay, DE, Sam Houston: 0-0-3-2-1-14
16. Matthew Jackson, LB, Eastern Kentucky: 0-0-1-3-0-9
17. Markquese Bell, S, Florida A&M: 0-0-2-0-0-6
18. Decobie Durant, CB, South Carolina State: 0-1-0-0-0-4
19. Jalen Mackie, LB, Dartmouth: 0-0-0-0-3-3
20. Vaughn Taylor Jr., DE, Morehead State: 0-0-0-1-0-2
21. Titus Leo, LB, Wagner: 0-0-0-0-1-1
22.(tie) Brevin Allen, DE, Campbell: 0-0-0-0-0-0
22.(tie) Shaundre Mims, DL, Charleston Southern: 0-0-0-0-0-0
22.(tie) Koby Perry, S, Austin Peay: 0-0-0-0-0-0
22.(tie) Jeremiah Tyler, LB, Princeton: 0-0-0-0-0-0
Graphic by Matt Sisneros.