Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - There are certain players who keep offensive coordinators up at night in trying to game plan against their speed and power.
They can make for some late nights.
Georgetown defensive end Alec May, Stony Brook safety/linebacker Christian Ricard and Northern Iowa defensive tackle Xavier Williams have camped out in opposing backfields this season to ruin some of the game plans. Their spectacular play led to the trio being named to the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List on Tuesday.
The Buck Buchanan, which is bestowed on the outstanding defensive player in the FCS by The Sports Network, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this season.
The three newcomers to the Watch List:
Alec May, DE, Georgetown, 6-4, 255, Sr., Wrentham, Massachusetts
Since late in his junior season, May has been one of the leading sack artists in the FCS. This year, he leads the nation with 1.5 sacks per game, and his total of 15.5 is just a half sack off the top mark. He has 19 tackles for loss as well as the nation's highest average of tackles per game (8.0) among defensive linemen. He also has four pass breakups, three forced fumbles and two quarterback hurries.
Christian Ricard, S/LB, Stony Brook, Sr., 6-1, 205, Spencer, Massachusetts
Playing the hybrid Rover position in Stony Brook's 4-2-5 defensive alignment, Ricard has fueled one of the top-ranked defenses in the FCS. His 20.5 tackles for loss rank No. 1 in CAA Football, and he's been well-rounded while leading the Seawolves in tackles for a second straight season with 86. He also has 8.5 sacks, three pass breakups, two quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and one blocked kick.
Xavier Williams, DT, Northern Iowa, Sr., 6-2, 309, Kansas City, Missouri
UNI ranks second in the FCS with 42 sacks and it has a lot to Williams' work on the interior of the defensive line. Extremely quick for his size, Williams isn't a plodding defensive tackle as evidenced by his six career blocked kicks. He's been ending the regular season with a November flourish and already has career highs with 76 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Often commanding double-teams, Williams opens up lanes for other teammates. He also has three pass breakups.
Other players on the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List are nose guard O.J. Mau of Gardner-Webb; defensive tackle Javon Hargrave of South Carolina State; defensive ends Jeff Covitz of Bryant, James Cowser of Southern Utah, Ryan Delaire of Towson, Kyle Emanuel of North Dakota State, Zach Hodges of Harvard, Davis Tull of Chattanooga, Zack Wagenmann of Montana and Jonathan Woodard of Central Arkansas; linebackers Quinn Backus of Coastal Carolina, Tony Bell of UT Martin, Don Cherry of Villanova, Isiah Corbett of Southeastern Louisiana, Nick Dzubnar of Cal Poly, Lynden Trail of Norfolk State and Connor Underwood of Indiana State; and safeties Jacob Hagen of Liberty, Colten Heagle of North Dakota State, Donald Payne of Stetson, Caleb Schaffitzel of Missouri State and Jaquiski Tartt of Samford.
The Buck Buchanan Award winner will be selected by a national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries following the regular season.
The Sports Network also presents the Walter Payton, Jerry Rice and Eddie Robinson awards. The Payton Award honors the outstanding player in the FCS, the Rice Award goes to the FCS freshman of the year and the Robinson Award is bestowed upon the FCS coach of the year.
The 2014 FCS Awards package can be found at http://tinyurl.com/n5ysh8x.