Jul 19, 2010, 4:05 PM EDT
Preseason honors and lists continue to hit the FCS wire, as four CAA Football defensive standouts earned spots on the 2010 Buck Buchanan National Defensive Player of Year Award Watch List sponsored by Fathead.com. A 20-player list for the honor was released Monday, a week after the league placed five on The Preseason Walter Payton Award Watch List.
The Buchanan Award is in its 16th season and will be presented to the FCS National Defensive Player of the Year on Thursday, Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas – the night before the national championship game. CAA Football will be looking for a repeat in 2010, as James Madison defensive end Arthur Moats won the honor last season. Moats, who recently signed an NFL contract with the Buffalo Bills, became the second Duke and CAA Football student-athlete to log the honor.
2008 National Champion Richmond boasts three on the Watch List including seniors Eric McBride, Martin Parker and Justin Rogers. Parker finished 13th in the 2009 Buchanan voting while both McBride and Rogers have already earned several preseason honors. Senior Terence Thomas, who made eight tackles and a sack in Villanova’s National Champion win last season, is a newcomer to the preseason list of 20 student-athletes.
CAA Football logged four standouts on the preseason list, equalling the Southern Conference total of four which is the most from any of the 13 FCS conferences honored.
Below are abbreviated bios for each of CAA Football’s five 2010 Buck Buchanan Award Watch List honorees.
Eric McBride — Richmond — LB — Senior
Two numbers have stood out during McBride’s first three seasons: he has started all 43 games and has 327 career tackles. Of course, he would point to Richmond’s 2008 FCS Championship as the highlight, and he hopes to get the Spiders back to that level this season. He’s been an All-CAA Football First Team selection in each of his three seasons, winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award as a redshirt freshman in 2007. In that season, McBride corralled a career-high 126 tackles. The athletic playmaker, who flies to the ball with his speed, had 108 tackles as a sophomore and 93 as a junior.
Martin Parker — Richmond — DL — Senior
Parker was a Buck Buchanan Award finalist in 2009, finishing 13th in the voting. He enters his fourth season as a starter and is one of the more feared defensive linemen in the FCS. He is both athletic and quick for his 6-foot-3, 283-pound frame. As a redshirt junior in 2009, Parker was selected to The Sports Network All-America Second Team. He made an impressive 75 tackles, including 15.5 for losses (6.5 were sacks). He also had 10 quarterback hurries and forced a pair of fumbles. He made 15 starts for the 2008 Richmond squad that won the FCS title with one of the nation’s top defensive lines.
Justin Rogers — Richmond — DB — Senior
After Rogers intercepted seven passes in 2008, opposing quarterbacks avoided throwing toward him during his junior season in 2009. He’s a shutdown cornerback with big playmaking ability. Named to the All-CAA Football First Team for the third straight season, he intercepted three passes and broke up another eight when balls came his way. He was in on 30 tackles. Lightning fast, Rogers also returns kicks for the Spiders. As a redshirt freshman in 2007, he averaged 30.4 yards (third-best in the FCS) on 33 returns, taking two all the way for touchdowns. He had three games of at least 200 yards in kickoff returns.
Terence Thomas — Villanova — LB — Senior
A communications major, Thomas might consider adding a minor in film study. He says he watches at least four game films of an upcoming opponent apart from what the Villanova defense already watches during scheduled film sessions. That type of preparation has aided Thomas as he has started all 39 games of his Villanova career, including 15 last season when the Wildcats won the FCS Championship. He led the team with 116 tackles, including 8.5 sacks (11 for losses), and made The Sports Network All-America Second Team. The intense Thomas mixes a cerebral approach with his hard-hitting style. He will lead the Wildcats’ defense as they try to win another FCS title.
The Buchanan Award Watch List will undergo revisions over the 2010 season as updates are scheduled to be released Oct. 4 and 25. Ballots will be sent to a panel of approximately 200 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries after the regular season on Nov. 22. Be sure to checkout The Sports Network’s Buck Buchanan Award website as it tracks week-by-week performances and more…sportsnetwork.com
The Sports Network also presents the Walter Payton and Eddie Robinson awards which are sponsored by Fathead. The Payton Award honors the FCS Player of the Year and the Robinson Award honors the FCS Coach of the Year. Those two awards, like the Buchanan, will be presented at the national awards banquet.
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