Chattanooga Mocs defensive lineman Devonnsha Maxwell got some big news Monday afternoon. The junior from Valdosta, Ga., was named as a finalist for the Stats Perform FCS Buck Buchanan Award. The Buchanan Award for to the FCS Defensive Player of the Year.
Maxwell had a record-setting season. He first tied the school mark for sacks in a game with 3.5 in the week 2 shutout win at North Alabama. He single-handedly ended the Lions lone foray deep into Mocs territory with three sacks in four plays to end the threat.
He blew that total away in the Rail Rivalry triumph over ETSU. The Bucs touted offensive line came into the contests allowing a mere four sacks over six games. Maxwell tormented them that day amassing five to set a new standard for Mocs defenders.
His season total of 12 sacks fell 1.5 shy of Keionta Davis’ record set 2015 while registering 15.5 tackles for loss. “D-Max’s” sack numbers are especially impressive considering opponents regularly threw the ball less as the season went on due to his prowess up front along with the ball-hawking secondary that made 15 interceptions.
The Buchanan Award, now in its 27th season, is named for the legendary Hall of Fame defensive lineman. Past recipients include two-time winner Dexter Coakley, Rashean Mathis and Jared Allen.
A 50-member, national media panel selects the winner, who is announced on Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas – the eve of the FCS championship game. Also this season, Stats Perform will present 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 Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Junior offensive lineman McClendon Curtis is the Mocs nominee for the Doris Robinson Award.
The Buck Buchanan Award finalists: Maxwell, Brevin Allen, DE, Campbell; Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State; Kelechi Anyalebechi, LB, UIW; Markquese Bell, S, Florida A&M; Adam Bock, LB, South Dakota State; Isaiah Chambers, DE, McNeese; Jacob Dobbs, LB, Holy Cross; Decobie Durant, CB, South Carolina State; Justin Ford, CB, Montana; James Houston, DE, Jackson State; Matthew Jackson, LB, Eastern Kentucky; Darius Joiner, S, Western Illinois; Jahari Kay, DE, Sam Houston; Isaiah Land, LB, Florida A&M; Titus Leo, LB, Wagner; Nate Lynn, DE, William & Mary; Jalen Mackie, LB, Dartmouth; Shaundre Mims, DL, Charleston Southern; Patrick O’Connell, LB, Montana; Koby Perry, S, Austin Peay; Forrest Rhyne, LB, Villanova; Stone Snyder, LB, VMI; Vaughn Taylor Jr., DE, Morehead State; Jeremiah Tyler, LB, Princeton.