Montana defensive end honored as most outstanding defensive player in FCS college football
Kroy Biermann finished second nationally with 16 sacks, and was 24th with 18.5 tackles for loss.
Chattanooga, TN (Sports Network) -
Montana defensive end Kroy Biermann was named the 13th winner of the Buck Buchanan Award at the Sports Network FCS Awards Dinner, held on the eve of the NCAA Division I Football Championship. The Buchanan Award, named for the legendary Grambling and Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle, is presented annually to the top defensive player in FCS.
"Obviously, it is an amazing feeling to be recognized for such a prestigious award," said Biermann. "To be chosen as the top defensive player in the FCS is truly a great experience. I think some of the credit should go to my coaches, my teammates, and to my University. To get the opportunity to be a part of the Montana Grizzly football program is something I am very thankful for and will cherish the rest of my life."
Biermann finished second nationally with 16 sacks, and was 24th with 18.5 tackles for loss. He had 70 total tackles, 34 solo stops, five forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two blocked kicks and one pass break-up.
The 6-3, 241-pound senior defensive lineman helped his team to an 11-0 record and a Big Sky Conference championship during the regular season. The Grizzlies were seeded No. 3 in the playoffs, but fell, 23-22, to Wofford in the first round.
With Biermann as the leader, Montana finished second nationally in scoring defense (14.8 points per game), and 21st in rushing defense (125 yards per game).
The Hardin, MT native finished his career with 33 sacks, 46 tackles for loss, nine forced fumbles, and seven fumble recoveries for a team that went 43-10 and won a share of four consecutive Big Sky titles during his time with the program.
Biermann received 35 first-place votes and 305 points to edge Appalachian State free safety Corey Lynch by five points in the closest Buchanan Award voting in history. Lynch also received 35 first-place votes out of the 105 ballots cast by a panel of sports information directors and selected media. McNeese State defensive end Bryan Smith was third in the voting with 205 points.
The Buck Buchanan Award was established in 1995 by The Sports Network. Past winners of the honor include current NFL standouts such as Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen (2003, Idaho State), Jacksonville Jaguars safety Rashean Mathis (2002, Bethune-Cookman), along with former Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl linebacker Dexter Coakley (1995-96, Appalachian State).