Arthur Moats captures 2009 Buck Buchanan Award
James Madison defensive end honored as most outstanding defensive player in FCS college football
The Buchanan Award, named for the legendary Grambling State and Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle, is presented annually to the nation's top defensive player in FCS.
"I can't believe it, this is so overwhelming," said Moats. "I wasn't expecting anything like this."
Moats is the second JMU player to capture the Buchanan Award, joining linebacker Derrick Lloyd, who won the honor in 2001.
"We've never had anyone draw the attention that Arthur Moats has drawn this season," said JMU coach Mickey Matthews. "We've had some great defensive players here, but Arthur is as good as anyone we've had."
Moats, a 6-2, 250-pound senior from Portsmouth, VA., led the nation in tackles for loss, averaging 2.14 per game (23.5 total), and was fourth in the FCS in sacks (1.0 per game, 11 total). He also piled up 90 tackles and returned a fumble for a 68-yard touchdown.
Moats won by the largest margin in Buchanan Award history, earning 37 first-place votes and 342 points to finish 110 points ahead of runner-up J.C. Sherritt, a linebacker from Eastern Washington. South Dakota State defensive end Danny Batten was third with 183 points.
The largest previous margin was last year, when Eastern Washington defensive end Greg Peach beat runner-up Jovan Belcher, a defensive end from Maine, by 107 points.
The Buck Buchanan Award was established in 1995 by The Sports Network. Past winners of the honor include current NFL standouts such as Jared Allen (2003, Idaho State) of the Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis (2002, Bethune-Cookman), along with former Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl linebacker Dexter Coakley (1995-96, Appalachian State).