Chattanooga, TN (Sports Network) -
Cal Poly linebacker Jordan Beck was named the 11th winner of the Buck Buchanan Award Thursday night at the FCS College Football Awards held in Chattanooga, TN on the eve of the FCS national championship. The Buchanan Award is presented annually to the top defensive player in FCS.
The 6-foot-2, 231-pound senior finished the season with 135 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, four interceptions, nine pass breakups and six forced fumbles. He led a Cal Poly defense that helped the team to a 9-2 finish.
"I feel honored to get the award, but I know there are a lot of other great defensive players across the country who are just as deserving. I am thankful and feel blessed," Beck said.
A finalist for the 2003 Buchanan Award, Beck made a splash in the season opener against Humboldt State by returning an interception 36 yards for a touchdown. He duplicated the feat the next week, returning a pick 40 yards for a score in a 35-20 win against Idaho State.
Beck continued his stellar play and helped Cal Poly to the victory column in the next five games. He had big days in close conference wins against South Dakota State (13 TT, 2 TFL, 1 sack), Southern Utah (8 TT, 1 TFL) and North Dakota State (8 TT, 2.5 TFL, 0.5 sacks) and posted 16 total tackles in a victory against Texas State.
In a loss to Eastern Washington, Beck had an amazing individual effort with 21 tackles and 2.5 stops for loss. With Cal Poly?s potential playoff hopes on the line, Beck had monster performances in wins against Northern Colorado (14 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 INT, 1 sack) and Sacramento State (11 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks).
Cal Poly finished the year with a 9-2 record and placed in the national top 25. With a 4-1 record in Great West games, the Mustangs became the inaugural conference champion. Beck becomes the first member of the Cal Poly football program to win a major I-AA Award, and brings home the first-ever award for the Great West Conference.
Beck captured 35 out of 94 first-place votes and 257 total points to claim the Buchanan trophy. Beck?s teammate, defensive end Chris Gocong, finished second with 14 first-place votes and 183 total points. Illinois State linebacker Boomer Grigsby placed third with 15 first-place votes and 152 total points.
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.