Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Dig back into Big South Conference history and you won't find a defensive player who has had a season like Gardner-Webb's Shaquille Riddick this year.
The big 6-foot-7 defensive end recorded two sacks against conference foe Charleston Southern on Saturday, giving him 8.5 sacks, which is the most by one player in a single Big South season.
Riddick's amazing play this season, which has helped lead the Runnin' Bulldogs defense to the sixth-ranked spot in total defense in the FCS, has landed Riddick on the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List. The 19th annual award is presented by The Sports Network to the outstanding defensive player in the FCS.
Riddick, a junior, is enjoying one of the more efficient seasons by any defender in the country. He's currently tied for second in the FCS with 19 tackles for loss (half a tackle for loss behind Montana State's Brad Daly), and has 17 quarterback hurries in 11 games.
He's third on Gardner-Webb's defense with 69 total tackles, and has added two pass breakups and a forced fumble to his resume.
The Runnin' Bulldogs have won three games against nationally ranked opponents, and in those three wins, the GWU defense has surrendered a combined 20 points.
It was a field day for Riddick against Charleston Southern as he notched five solo tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks. His defense held the Buccaneers to just 16 yards on 36 carries.
Other nominees on the Buchanan Award Watch List are: defensive linemen Brad Daly of Montana State, Terrence Fede of Marist, Zach Hodges of Harvard, Caraun Reid of Princeton, Robert Simpson of Mississippi Valley State, Davis Tull of Chattanooga and Colton Underwood of Illinois State; linebackers Quinn Backus of Coastal Carolina, Clarence Bumpas of Northern Colorado, Ronnie Hamlin of Eastern Washington, Stephon Robertson of James Madison, Justin Shade of Samford, Tyler Starr of South Dakota, Joe Thomas of South Carolina State, Lynden Trail of Norfolk State and Jordan Tripp of Montana; and defensive backs Jerome Couplin III of William & Mary, Caleb Schaffitzel of Missouri State and Marcus Williams of North Dakota State.
Bios of all 20 players can be found at http://tinyurl.com/yhv6oh8.
Other players considered for the Buchanan Award Watch List: Wofford linebacker Alvin Scioneaux, Montana defensive end Zack Wagenmann, Towson linebacker Telvion Clark, Tennessee State safety Daniel Fitzpatrick, Southern Utah defensive end James Cowser and Fordham linebacker Stephen Hoge.
Ballots for the Buchanan Award will be sent to a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries following the regular season. The winner will be invited to The Sports Network FCS Awards Presentation Dec. 16 in Philadelphia.
The Sports Network also presents the Walter Payton, Jerry Rice and Eddie Robinson awards. The Payton Award honors the outstanding player in the FCS, the Rice Award goes to the FCS freshman of the year and the Robinson Award honors the FCS coach of the year. The top three vote-getters for the Payton Award as well as the winners of Rice and Robinson awards also will be invited to the national banquet.