Isaiah Land has become the first Florida A&M player and the second in SWAC history to take home the award for the top defender in the FCS.
Land received the 2021 Stats Perform Buck Buchanan Award at the national awards presentation Friday night. The 27th annual award, named for legendary Hall of Fame defensive lineman Junious “Buck” Buchanan, is presented to the national defensive player of the year in Division I FCS.
A 50-member, national media panel selected the Buchanan winner from a group of 25 finalists following the regular season. The redshirt junior and combo defensive end/outside linebacker, came in first over linebackers Troy Andersen of Montana State and Patrick O’Connell of Montana.
Isaiah Land racked up 25.5 tackles for loss, 147 yards in losses, 19 sacks and 121 sack yards in losses, which all led the FCS totals during the regular season. The Southwestern Athletic Conference defensive player of the year finished with 43 total tackles, including 32 solos, six quarterback hurries, three pass breakups, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Land’s award makes back-to-back honorees from the SWAC. Southern University’s Jordan Lewis won the award during the spring 2021 football season.
Three other HBCU players — James Houston of Jackson State, Markquese Bell of Florida A&M and South Carolina State’s Decobie Durant — all were finalists as well.
2021 Buck Buchanan Award Voting Results
A first-place vote was worth five points, a second-place vote four points, a third-place vote three points, a fourth-place vote two points and a fifth-place vote one point.
1. Isaiah Land, LB, Florida A&M: 11-9-8-4-2-125
2. Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State: 15-5-2-0-2-103
3. Patrick O’Connell, LB, Montana: 11-1-4-4-4-83
4. Justin Ford, CB, Montana: 3-7-4-9-4-77
5. James Houston, DE, Jackson State: 4-6-2-1-5-57
6. Darius Joiner, S, Western Illinois: 1-4-5-5-5-51
7. Isaiah Chambers, DE, McNeese: 1-4-5-4-1-45
8. Forrest Rhyne, LB, Villanova: 2-3-1-3-0-31
9. Nate Lynn, DE, William & Mary: 0-4-1-3-4-29
10. Jacob Dobbs, LB, Holy Cross: 0-1-3-3-5-24
11.(tie) Kelechi Anyalebechi, LB, UIW: 0-4-3-0-2-23
11.(tie) Adam Bock, LB, South Dakota State: 1-1-1-4-3-23
13. Stone Snyder, LB, VMI: 1-0-3-1-6-22
14. Devonnsha Maxwell, DE, Chattanooga: 0-1-2-3-2-18
15. Jahari Kay, DE, Sam Houston: 0-0-3-2-1-14
16. Matthew Jackson, LB, Eastern Kentucky: 0-0-1-3-0-9
17. Markquese Bell, S, Florida A&M: 0-0-2-0-0-6
18. Decobie Durant, CB, South Carolina State: 0-1-0-0-0-4
19. Jalen Mackie, LB, Dartmouth: 0-0-0-0-3-3
20. Vaughn Taylor Jr., DE, Morehead State: 0-0-0-1-0-2
21. Titus Leo, LB, Wagner: 0-0-0-0-1-1
22.(tie) Brevin Allen, DE, Campbell: 0-0-0-0-0-0
22.(tie) Shaundre Mims, DL, Charleston Southern: 0-0-0-0-0-0
22.(tie) Koby Perry, S, Austin Peay: 0-0-0-0-0-0
22.(tie) Jeremiah Tyler, LB, Princeton: 0-0-0-0-0-0