Grambling defender Christian Anthony is one of four initial standouts to be added to the 2009 Buck Buchanan Award watch list, announced today by the Sports Network.
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
Anthony, a 6-4, 246-pound defensive end, developed into one of the top defensive players in the SWAC last season, piling up eight sacks, 17 tackles for loss and 55 total stops. He also posted eight quarterback hurries and four pass breakups, intercepted two passes and forced one fumble.
He’s joined by South Dakota State defensive end Danny Batten, Southeastern Louisiana strong safety Tommy Connors and Montana State defensive end Dane Fletcher. The award, which recognizes the Football Championship Subdivision’s best defensive player, is named for former Grambling standout Junious “Buck” Buchanan.
Voting for this award 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, Tenn., the night before the NCAA Division I championship game. The Walter Payton Award and the Eddie Robinson Award will also be presented that night.
Anthony has been a big-play performer throughout his career, with 112 tackles, 14 sacks and 31 tackles for loss. He has seven forced fumbles, 15 quarterback hurries and seven pass breakups in his career.
Anthony led Grambling to a 41-9 victory over Jackson State in the SWAC championship game last season, winning defensive MVP honors with seven tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks for 13 yards of losses and two quarterback hurries.
Anthony was a first-team All-SWAC performer in 2008. He also helped Grambling win a West Division title and advance to the SWAC championship game in 2007.