Chattanooga, TN (Sports Network) -
Cal Poly linebacker Kyle Shotwell was named the 12th winner of the Buck Buchanan Award tonight at the FCS College Football Awards held in Chattanooga, TN on the eve of the FCSl Championship Game. The Buchanan Award is presented annually to the top defensive player in FCS football.
The 6-1, 235-pound Shotwell led the nation in tackles for a loss with 21, and made plays all over the field for a defense that was once again one of the nation?s best. He finished the season with 122 total tackles, 21 tackles for loss, seven sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, while leading a unit that ranked in the top ten nationally in total and scoring defense and pressured opposing quarterbacks with 37 sacks.
"Receiving the award is a humbling experience because you realize that an award like this is not earned by one person, but a group effort by lots of really good people working really hard for a really long time. It's nice because I feel like, at this school, I've followed so much greatness (in reference to previous winners Jordan Beck and Chris Gocong). Winning this award puts me in an elite class. I respect those guys so much as players as well as people," said Shotwell.
Shotwell posted solid efforts to help the Mustangs to a 2-0 start, but he really got going against Sacramento State. In a 17-0 shutout victory, Shotwell was all over the field with 14 tackles (9 solo), four tackles for a loss and a sack. That started a string of quality games, as Shotwell had double-digit tackles and at least one tackle for a loss in the next four outings. The Mustangs had a 5-2 record going into a tough three-game road swing, and Shotwell and the defense did all they could in quality efforts at FBS San Diego State and FCS Montana. Shotwell tallied a great game with 12 tackles and four sacks as Cal Poly held off San Diego State, 16-14. The Mustangs suffered a heartbreaking 10-9 loss at Montana in the next game, but Shotwell led a dominating defensive effort with 10 tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack.
Shotwell closed his career in style by taking a lateral after an interception 65 yards for a touchdown in a 55-0 win over Savannah State.
Shotwell is the third consecutive Cal Poly defender to win the Buchanan Award, following Jordan Beck and Chris Gocong, and takes home the program?s third major award. It is also the third award for the Great West Conference. He captured 23 out of 112 first-place votes and 275 total points to claim the Buchanan trophy. James Madison linebacker Akeem Jordan also recorded 23 first-place votes, but finished behind Shotwell with 258 total points.
The Buck Buchanan Award was established in 1995 by The Sports Network.