(portions courtesy The Sports Network)
HARRISONBURG, Va. - Redshirt junior linebacker Stephon Robertson is one of four players added to the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List today, The Sports Network announced. The 18th annual award is presented to the outstanding defensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision, as former JMU standout Arthur Moats captured the award in 2009, while Derrick Lloyd earned the honor in 2001. Also being added to the list today were Southeastern Louisiana cornerback Robert Alford and defensive ends Caleb Schreibeis of Montana State and Brandon Thurmond of Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Robertson, a 5-11, 225-pound junior, is on track to earn a degree in justice studies, but his play on the field also deserves some justice. In his first year as a starter, as a redshirt freshman, he earned 2010 CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. He's improved more as a junior, garnering All-America third-team and All-CAA first-team honors in the preseason. The defined leader of the Dukes' defense has recorded a team-high 92 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and five pass breakups in 10 games this season.
Even more impressive has been Robertson's durability. He has started all 33 games in his career and totaled an impressive 295 tackles during that span. As a result, JMU's defense has gradually turned into one of the top units in the CAA. In 10 games this season, the Dukes rank first in scoring (19 points per game), third in rushing (135 yards per game) and second in total defense (320 yards per game) in the league.
Other nominees on the Watch List are nose tackle Brent Russell of Georgia Southern; defensive ends Joseph LeBeau of Jackson State and Colton Underwood of Illinois State; linebackers Evans, Wes Dothard of Chattanooga, Jeremy Kimbrough of Appalachian State, Robert McCabe of Georgetown, Blake Peiffer of Southeast Missouri State, Tyler Starr of South Dakota and Jordan Tripp of Montana; cornerbacks Demetrius McCray of Appalachian State, B.W. Webb of William & Mary and Marcus Williams of 2011 FCS champion North Dakota State; and safeties Jaquiski Tartt of Samford, Cooper Taylor of Richmond and Darnell Taylor of Sam Houston State.
Bios of all 20 players can be found on the FCS Awards page at http://tinyurl.com/yhv6oh8.