CHICAGO – Senior defensive end Derick Roberson has been named one of three finalists for the STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award, per announcement from STATS on Tuesday.
The award, which honors the top defensive player in the FCS and has been handed out since 1995, will be given out at the STATS FCS Awards banquet on Jan. 4 in Frisco, Texas, the night before the FCS Championship Game. Roberson will be joined by Southeast Missouri linebacker Zach Hall and Montana linebacker Dante Olson.
A national panel of over 153 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries voted on the Buck Buchanan Award following the conclusion of the regular season.
Roberson, a first team all-Southland Conference selection, is the second Bearkat to be a top-three selection for the Buchanan Award after P.J. Hall finished second in the voting in 2016.
In fact, his invitation marks the third consecutive season Sam Houston State has had someone earn an invitation to the STATS FCS Awards Banquet after Hall and Jeremiah Briscoe – along with head coach K.C. Keeler – all earned invites in 2016, and Briscoe again in 2017 when he won the second of his two consecutive Walter Payton Awards.
It was a breakout senior campaign for Roberson in 2018, a season that saw him total 68 tackles and 20.5 TFL. His 15.0 sacks tied a SHSU single-season record that had stood for more than two decades and was the top sack mark in the nation at the end of the regular season. He also forced five fumbles, which ranked second in the FCS, and was credited with 11 official quarterback hurries along with a pair of pass breakups, a safety and a blocked kick.
His breakout game came at NRG Stadium when he erupted for 3.0 sacks and his third forced fumble of the year in a blowout win over Stephen F. Austin. From there he began to roll, racking up at least 3.5 TFL and 2.0 sacks in each of the next two games. He would finish the season getting in on at least one sack in nine of 11 games played, in addition to totaling a career-high 12 tackles in a win over Southeastern Louisiana.