Southern defensive end Jordan Lewis was in diapers the last time an HBCU athlete won the Buck Buchanan Award.
Now, the Jaguars’ sack specialist is on the verge of becoming the first-ever Southwestern Athletic Conference athlete to win the Buchanan Award, and the first HBCU athlete to be named FCS national defensive player of the year since 2002.
STATS Perform invited Lewis to the award’s announcement after a 40-person panel voted him into the top three finalists in a field of 18 defensive players from around the Football Championship Subdivision. The announcement is part of the FCS National Awards show, set to air on Bally Sports Regional Networks on May 15. Bally Sports Regional Networks were formerly known as Fox Sports Regional Networks.
The newly-minted SWAC defensive player of the year led the nation in the regular season in sacks (10.5), tackles for loss (15), sacks per game (2.1), TFLs per game (3), tackle yardage for loss (82) and sack yardage (73), helping the 19th-ranked Jaguars finish the Spring 2021 season with a 5-1 record.
Lewis earned SWAC defensive player of the week honors twice for performances against Alabama State and Jackson State.
Lewis’ competition for the award includes a pair of linebackers, Presbyterian’s Colby Campbell and VMI’s Stone Snyder. If Lewis wins, he will be the third HBCU player to win the award named after the Grambling State Hall of Famer — North Carolina A&T defensive end Chris McNeil (1997) and Bethune Cookman defensive back Rashean Mathis (2002).