Hall named to Buchanan Award watch list

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HUNTSVILLE – Sam Houston State Bearkat defensive lineman P.J. Hall continues to pull in plenty of honors entering the 2017 season, and added another to his ledger on Friday when he was named to the Buck Buchanan Award watch list by STATS FCS.

Hall headlines the list of 22 players to be named to the list after finishing as the runner-up for the award last season as a junior to Northern Iowa’s Karter Schult. Hall has already been named to the preseason STATS FCS all-America team for the second consecutive season.

Hall added 13 sacks to his career total, along with a career-best 24.5 tackles for a loss in 2016 on his way to being named the Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He now has 36 sacks for his career, a mark tied with Andre Finely for the top mark in school history and just two shy of Lamar’s Walter Johnson for the Southland Conference record. He has racked up double-digit sacks totals in each of his first three seasons as a Bearkat, and no less than 19 tackles for loss.

The Seguin, Texas native will be looking to become the first Southland Conference player to claim the award given out to the top defensive player in the FCS.

The Buchanan Award, first awarded in 1995, has sent past winners such as Dexter Coakley, Rashean Mathis, Jared Allen, Arthur Moats and Kyle Emmanuel on to the NFL.

The watch list will have updates during the season. A national panel of 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will vote on 25 finalists following the regular season.

STATS serves as the presenter of the Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year), Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman of the year), Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year) and the Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year. STATS will hold its awards banquet the night of Jan. 5 in Frisco, the eve of the national championship game.