FRISCO – In a vote by a national panel, Sam Houston State defensive end Derick Roberson finished as the runner-up in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award on Friday at the annual STATS FCS Awards banquet.
Southeast Missouri linebacker Zach Hall walked away with the award, garnering 354 points in the voting. Meanwhile, Montana linebacker Dante Olson came in third with 225 points.
Roberson’s second-place finish was the highest finish in the voting by a Bearkat since PJ Hall finished second in 2016. He was seeking to become the sixth defensive end to win the award in the past seven years. No Bearkat or Southland Conference player has won the award since its inception in 1995.
Roberson was a first team all-Southland Conference selection at the conclusion of the regular season and parlayed that into a slew of all-America honors throughout November and December. In addition to being named a finalist for the Buchanan Award in November, he was also named to the STATS FCS All-America first team.
Other all-America honors included nods from the AP, HERO Sports, Walter Camp, AFCA and FCS ADA. Each outlet had him placed on the first team, while the FCS ADA honored him as the top defensive lineman in the nation.
Those honors all came after a season that saw him total 68 tackles and 20.5 tackles for loss on the season. But his most impressive stat was his 15 sacks, leading all of FCS and tying the SHSU single-season school record in the process.
Roberson also ranked second in the FCS with five forced fumbles, along with a blocked kick, safety and two official pass breakups. He had just one sack through the first three games of the year, but then took off with 11.5 sacks over his next five games, including 3.0 sacks each in wins over Stephen F. Austin and Northwestern State.
Following the regular season, a national panel of 153 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries voted on the Buck Buchanan Award, named for the Pro and College Football Hall-of-Famer and presented since 1995. Past recipients include Dexter Coakley, Rashean Mathis, Jared Allen, Arthur Moats and Kyle Emanuel.