Stats Perform has announced a preseason watch list for the 2023 Buck Buchanan Award, presented by FedEx Ground and given annually to the national defensive player of the year in Division I FCS college football.

All 15 FCS conferences, which combine to form 13 leagues, are represented on the watch list, including 13 past finalists.

The preseason watch list:

Defensive Linemen

Sundiata Anderson, Grambling State, Sr., 6-5, 240 (Southwestern Athletic Conference)

Finn Claypool, Drake, R-So., 6-1, 240 (Pioneer Football League)

Daylan Dotson, UT Martin, Jr., 6-3, 280 (Big South-OVC Football Association)

Ty French, Gardner-Webb, Sr., 6-3, 230 (Big South-OVC Football Association) – 2022 Finalist

Patrick Godbolt, South Carolina State, Sr., 6-3, 235 (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)

Thor Griffith, Harvard, Sr., 6-2, 305 (Ivy League)

Nate Lynn, William & Mary, Sr., 6-3, 255 (CAA Football) – 2021 Finalist

Eli Mostaert, North Dakota State, Sr., 6-3, 286 (Missouri Valley Football Conference)

Eric O’Neill, LIU, So., 6-3, 240 (Northeast Conference)

Jay Person, Chattanooga, Sr., 6-3, 224 (Southern Conference) – 2022 Finalist

Josiah Silver, New Hampshire, Jr., 6-2, 243 (CAA Football)

Sebastian Valdez, Montana State, Jr., 6-3, 291 (Big Sky Conference)

David Walker, Central Arkansas, Jr., 6-3, 265 (United Athletic Conference) – 2022 Finalist

Syrus Webster, Utah Tech, Jr., 6-4, 255 (United Athletic Conference)


Colton Adams, Alabama State, R-Jr., 6-2, 230 (Southwestern Athletic Conference)

Armon Bailey, Sacramento State, Sr., 6-1, 228 (Big Sky Conference)

Adam Bock, South Dakota State, Sr., 6-1, 215 (Missouri Valley Football Conference) – 2021 Finalist

Rodney Dansby, Houston Christian, Jr., 6-0, 225 (Southland Conference) – 2022 Finalist

Jacob Dobbs, Holy Cross, Sr., 6-0, 237 (Patriot League) – 2021 Finalist

Isaac Dowling, Mercer, Jr., 5-10, 225 (Southern Conference)

David Hoage, Northern Colorado, Sr., 6-3, 245 (Big Sky Conference)

Liam Johnson, Princeton, Sr., 6-0, 220 (Ivy League)

Bryce Norman, Southeast Missouri, Jr., 6-0, 226 (Big South-OVC Football Association) – 2022 Finalist

John Pius, William & Mary, R-Jr., 6-2, 230 (CAA Football) – 2022 Finalist

Winston Reid, Weber State, Sr., 6-1, 230 (Big Sky Conference) – 2022 Finalist

Tristan Wheeler, Richmond, R-Sr., 6-2, 228 (CAA Football) – 2020 and 2022 Finalist

Antoine Williams, Western Carolina, Jr., 5-10, 205 (Southern Conference) – 2022 Finalist

Defensive Backs

Maxwell Anderson, Weber State, Sr., 5-11, 170 (Big Sky Conference)

Khalil Baker, North Carolina Central, Sr., 6-0, 185 (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) – 2022 Finalist

Kameron Brown, Chattanooga, Sr., 5-9, 179 (Southern Conference)

Rex Connors, UC Davis, R-So., 6-1, 203 (Big Sky Conference)

Myles Harden, South Dakota, Sr., 6-0, 190 (Missouri Valley Football Conference)

Devin Haskins, Holy Cross, Sr., 6-3, 209 (Patriot League)

Lawrence Johnson, Southeast Missouri, Gr., 6-0, 196 (Big South-OVC Football Association)

TaMuarion Wilson, Central Arkansas, Jr., 6-2, 205 (United Athletic Conference)

More players can join the watch list during the regular season before a national media panel selects the winner from a group of finalists. First awarded in 1995, the Buchanan includes past recipients such as Dexter Coakley, Rashean Mathis, Jared Allen and Arthur Moats.

Also this season, 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 FedEx Ground Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be presented at the national awards banquet on the eve of the FCS championship game in Frisco, Texas.