NEW YORK (Sports Network) -
Western Illinois linebacker Edgerton
Hartwell was named the seventh
winner of the Buck Buchanan Award today
at the FCS College Football Awards held at the Downtown
Athletic Club's Heisman Room in New York City. The Buchanan Award is
presented annually to the top defensive player in FCS.
The senior recorded a FCS-best 169 tackles during the regular season
for the Leathernecks, helping Western Illinois fashion a 9-2 record and
earn the Gateway Football Conference Championship. In leading WIU to its
first playoff appearance since 1998, Hartwell accumulated double-digit
tackles in each regular season game. The school's all-time leading
tackler with 512 stops in just three seasons at Western Illinois,
Hartwell also had four games with 20 or more tackles. In addition to his
national honor, Hartwell was also named Gateway Football Conference
Player of the Year for a second straight season. The senior, who began
his career at the University of Wisconsin, will play in the Kelly Tire
Blue-Gray game on Christmas Day.
Said Hartwell, "This is a great honor, but it's a team honor. Everyone
on this team: the defensive linemen, the
other linebackers, the defensive backs, everyone on the offense, won
this award. It's an honor to be
named among the best players in the country, but it's a team honor."
Hartwell is the fifth consecutive senior to win the award, and the
fourth linebacker. Current Dallas Cowboys linebacker Dexter Coakley was
a two-time winner of the award, and Western Illinois LB James Milton won
the honor in 1998. Hartwell's selection as the Buchanan Award winner
also makes him the second player from the Gateway Football Conference to
win the award, with Milton being the first.
Hartwell's amazing 2000 season was highlighted by four games in which he
amassed 20 or more tackles. The Las Vegas native recorded 20+ tackles in
three straight wins, including 20 against Southern Illinois (Oct. 7), 20
versus Southwest Missouri State (Oct 14), and 21 against Youngstown
State (Oct. 21). All three contests resulted in wins for the
Leathernecks. Hartwell's collegiate career ended with a 22-tackle
performance in a loss to Lehigh during the first round of the FCS
playoffs on Nov. 25th.
Hartwell received 23 first-place votes and 215 points from the panel of
90 FCS sports information directors and selected media. Following
Hartwell in the voting were Montana defensive end Andy Petek, who earned
24 first-place votes and 188 total points, and Youngstown State
linebacker Tim Johnson, who registered 10 first-place votes and 183
The Buck Buchanan Award was established in 1995 by The Sports Network.
The Award is named for All-Pro defensive end Junious "Buck" Buchanan,
who played for the Kansas City Chiefs after beginning his career at
Grambling State University.