Several HBCU players have been nominated for individual honors for coveted FCS awards.
The 2018 STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award figures to be wide open after a standout preseason watch list of 25 players was announced Thursday. At least one player from all 13 conferences are nominees for the national defensive player of the year award.
On Wednesday, five HBCU players — De’Arius Christmas (Grambling State), Darryl Johnson Jr., (North Carolina A&T), Davanta Reynolds, (North Carolina Central), Lamar Raynard (North Carolina A&T) and P.J. Simmons (Alcorn State) — were nominated for either the 2018 STATS Buck Buchanan or Walter Payton awards.
BUCK BUCHANAN AWARD
De’Arius Christmas, Grambling State, LB, Sr., 5-10, 220
2017: 87 tackles, 16.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 FF; SWAC Defensive Player of the Year
MDarryl Johnson Jr., North Carolina A&T, DE, R-Jr., 6-5, 226
2017: 38 tackles, 15.5 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 3 PBU, 4 QB hurries, 1 FR, 4 FF; All-MEAC first team
Davanta Reynolds, North Carolina Central, S, Sr., 5-10, 200
2017: 54 tackles, 6 INTs, 1 FR, 2 TDs; All-MEAC first team
WALTER PAYTON AWARD
Lamar Raynard, North Carolina A&T, QB, Sr., 6-4, 200
2017: 209 of 328, 2,932, 27 TDs, 7 INTs, 161.7 passing efficiency; MEAC Offensive Player of the Year
P.J. Simmons, Alcorn State, RB, Sr., 5-10, 190
2017: 80 carries, 687 yards, 7 TDs
A national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will vote on 25 finalists following the regular season.