Courtesy: North Carolina Central Athletics
DURHAM, N.C. – Stats Perform has announced North Carolina Central University senior defensive back Khalil Baker as one of the 35 FCS standouts named to the 2023 Buck Buchanan Award Preseason Watch List. The award is annually presented to the national defensive player of the year in college football’s Division I subdivision.
Baker (6-0,185, Winston-Salem, N.C.) was named the 2022 MEAC Defensive Player of the Year after being ranked second in the MEAC with four interceptions, including a touchdown return in a road win over nationally-ranked New Hampshire, and placed fifth in the conference in passes defended with nine.
Baker is also a recipient of the inaugural Aeneas Williams Award and a member of the 2022 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Coaches’ All-America Team and the Associated Press FCS All-America Team. The Buchanan Award, which is presented by FedEx Ground and in its 29th season, is named for legendary defensive lineman Junious “Buck” Buchanan, who starred at Grambling State as part of his Hall of Fame career.
Past recipients include Dexter Coakley, Rashean Mathis, Jared Allen and Arthur Moats. Also this season, Stats Perform will present the Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year), Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman player of the year), Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year) and FedEx Ground Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year.