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Sports Network Announces Buchanan Watch List Additions
Central Arkansas defensive end Larry Hart, one of just two underclassmen among the 2008 finalists for the Buck Buchanan Award, presented to the top defensive player in FCS, heads up a group of four players added to the 2009 Buchanan watch list.
Hart, the reigning Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year after amassing 12 sacks a year ago, placed seventh in the 2008 balloting, which resulted in Eastern Washington defensive end Greg Peach winning the Buchanan Award.
Delaware free safety Charles Graves, Southern Illinois linebacker Brandin Jordan and Murray State defensive end Austen Lane were the other three names added to the list, and join previously announced members Christian Anthony of Grambling, Danny Batten of South Dakota State, Tommy Connors of Southeastern Louisiana and Dane Fletcher of Montana State.
A total of 20 candidates will be announced in alphabetical order prior to the start of the season, with four candidates being released each week. The watch list will be revised in October and again in November, before the final ballot is announced.
Voting from a panel of FCS sports information directors, writers, broadcasters and other football experts will be conducted after the regular season ends. Three finalists will be announced on Nov. 30 and will be invited to the 23rd annual Sports Network Awards banquet on Dec. 17 in Chattanooga, TN., the night before the NCAA Division I championship game. The Walter Payton Award and the Eddie Robinson Award will also be presented that night.
Here are biographies of the four newly-named players to the Buchanan watch list:
Charles Graves, Delaware, Senior, 6-0, 195, Free Safety
Graves has been a defensive force for a Blue Hen secondary that ranks among the best in FCS. He tallied 78 total tackles, two tackles for loss, five interceptions, two sacks and two fumble recoveries in 2008, on the way to earning All-Colonial Athletic Association first-team honors. Among Graves’ top performances were career-high 14-tackle effort against Villanova, and a two- interception effort in a 17-0 win over Hofstra. He had a breakout season as a sophomore, helping Delaware reach the national championship game with 75 total tackles, and one interception. Graves has a total of 153 tackles, and six interceptions in his first three seasons with the Blue Hens.
Larry Hart, Central Arkansas, Senior, 6-1, 252, Defensive End
Hart came from the junior college ranks to make an immediate impact for Central Arkansas last season, earning second-team All-American honors in addition to his aforementioned Southland Conference defensive player of the year selection. Hart ranked fourth in the nation last season with 12 sacks, also posting 21 tackles for loss on the campaign. The 12 sacks tied for second-best in school history. He also tallied 43 total tackles, helping the Bears to a 6-1 record in the Southland Conference, and an overall mark of 10-2 which helped the club finish 12th in the final Sports Network top-25 poll. One standout performance came in a 48-46 win against Sam Houston State, when Hart registered five tackles, all for loss, tying a school record, and three sacks.
Brandin Jordan, Southern Illinois, Senior, 5-11, 230, Linebacker
Jordan is beginning his fourth year as a starter and has played a major role in the Salukis’ success during his time in Carbondale. In 2008, the then- junior earned first-team All-Missouri Valley honors, registering 82 tackles, seven for tackles for loss, three sacks and two interceptions. Jordan tallied 11 tackles, three for loss, and two sacks in a 33-0 win over Youngstown State. In 2007, he earned accolades by picking up Sports Network All-American honorable mention honors and second-team All-MVFC honors during a year in which he racked up 97 total tackles, nine for loss and an interception. Jordan came on strong as a freshman for the Salukis in 2006, piling up 107 tackles and 12 tackles for loss, en route to earning Gateway Conference Freshman of the Year honors. In his first three seasons with the Salukis, Jordan has 285 total tackles, 28 for loss, six sacks and two interceptions.
Austin Lane, Murray State, Senior, 6-6, 250, Defensive End
Lane emerged as a junior for Murray State, tallying 63 tackles, 26 tackles for loss and a new school record of 13 sacks, tying him for fourth nationally. He also forced two fumbles en route to earning first-team All-OVC honors. Top performances included recording a career-high four sacks in a 17-10 win over Southeast Missouri State. In 2007, Lane finished with 48 tackles, 8.5 for loss and 3.5 sacks in 10 contests. Lane sparkled that season against Austin Peay with a career-high 11 tackles and 2.5 sacks. During his freshman year, Lane tallied 34 total tackles and three sacks in 10 games. In his first three seasons with the Racers, Lane has 146 total tackles, 41 for loss and 18 sacks, tied for second all-time at Murray State.