Sione Teuhema named among Buck Buchanan Award finalists

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HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana senior linebacker Sione Teuhema was named one of 25 finalists for the Buck Buchanan Award, STATS announced on Monday.

The Buck Buchanan Award honors the top defensive player in FCS. STATS announced the finalists for all of its legacy awards on Monday, including the Walter Payton Award (FCS Offensive Player of the Year), the Jerry Rice Award (FCS Freshman of the Year) and Eddie Robinson Award (FCS Coach of the Year).

Teuhema is the fourth Southeastern player to be named a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, which was established in 1995. He joins former Lions Robert Alford (2012, 18th place finish), Isiah Corbett (2014, 22nd) and Harlan Miller (2015, 25th).

In his final season at Southeastern, Teuhema was as dominant as any Southeastern pass rusher dating back to the return of the program in 2003. He led the team with nine sacks and ranked sixth in FCS with 19.0 tackles for loss – tying the single-season school record for tackles for loss in a season, matching the 1984 total of Southeastern Athletics Hall of Famer Willie Shepherd.

Teuhema, who finished the 2017 season with 80 tackles, two forced fumbles, an interception and a fumble recovery, made his mark on the Southeastern program in his two years in Hammond after transferring from LSU. He finished among the Southeastern career leaders in tackles for loss (27.5, 9th) and sacks (13.0, 4th).

Teuhema was one of eight Southland Conference representatives among the finalists for the nation’s top awards. Teuhema was joined on the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List by Houston Baptist senior linebacker Garrett Dolan, Sam Houston State senior defensive lineman P.J. Hall and Central Arkansas senior defensive back Tremon Smith.

Senior quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe (Sam Houston State) and Hayden Hildebrand (Central Arkansas) represent the league among the Walter Payton Award finalists.
SLU freshman running back Marcus Cooper was on the Jerry Rice Award watch list, but was not among the 20 finalists, as UCA running back Kierre Crossley was the Southland’s lone representative. Nicholls head coach Tim Rebowe is a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award after helping the Colonels to their first NCAA playoff appearance since 2005.

All four awards and the STATS FCS Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be celebrated at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation, scheduled for Jan. 5 in Frisco, Texas on the eve of the national championship game.

The voting panel consists of over 150 sports information and media relation directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries. Voting is based on the regular season.

2017 STATS FCS Awards

Walter Payton Award Finalists – FCS Offensive Player of the Year
Jeremiah Briscoe – QB – Sr. – Sam Houston State
Hayden Hildebrand – QB – Sr. – Central Arkansas
Dominick Bragalone – RB – Jr. – Lehigh
Chandler Burks – QB – Jr. – Kennesaw State
Taryn Christion – QB – Jr. – South Dakota State
Case Cookus – QB – So. – Northern Arizona
Keelan Doss – WR – Jr. – UC Davis
Dallas Goedert – TE – Sr. – South Dakota State
Gage Gubrud – QB – Jr. – Eastern Washington
Devlin Hodges – QB – Jr. – Samford
Chad Kanoff – QB – Sr. – Princeton
DeVante Kincade – QB – Sr. – Grambling
Kyle Lauletta – QB – Sr. – Richmond
Anthony Lawrence – QB – Jr. – San Diego
Josh Mack – RB – So. – Maine
Detrez Newsome – RB – Sr. – Western Carolina
Neil O’Connor – WR – Jr. – New Hampshire
Brandon Parker – OT – Sr. – North Carolina A&T
Troy Pelletier – WR – Sr. – Lehigh
Lamar Raynard – QB – Jr. – North Carolina A&T
Bryan Schor – QB – Sr. – James Madison
Chris Steveler – QB – Sr. – South Dakota
Tommy Stuart – QB – Gr. – Duquesne
Roc Thomas – RB – Sr. – Jacksonville State
Justin Watson – WR – Sr. – Penn

Buck Buchanan Award Finalists – FCS Defensive Player of the Year
Sione Teuhema – LB – Sr. – Southeastern Louisiana
Garrett Dolan – LB – Sr. – Houston Baptist
P.J. Hall – DL – Sr. – Sam Houston State
Tremon Smith – CB – Sr. – Central Arkansas
Andrew Ankrah – DE – Sr. – James Madison
Mike Basile – SS – Sr. – Monmouth
Marlon Bridges – FS – So. – Jacksonville State
Brandon Bryant – LB – Sr. – Lafayette
Josh Buss – LB – Jr. – Montana
De’Arius Christmas – LB – Jr. – Grambling
Nick DeLuca – LB – Sr. – North Dakota State
Malik Duncan – CB – Sr. – St. Francis
Anthony Ellis – DE – Sr. – Charleston Southern
Jared Farley – LB – Sr. – Northern Iowa
Ahmad Gooden – DE – Jr. – Samford
Davontae Harris – CB – Sr. – Illinois State
Darius Jackson – DE – Sr. – Jacksonville State
Mario Jenkins – LB – Sr. – Idaho State
Darius Leonard – LB – Sr. – South Carolina State
Warren Messer – LB – Jr. – Elon
Matthew Oplinger – LB – Sr. – Yale
Jonathan Peterson – DE – Sr. – San Diego
Christian Rozeboom – LB – So. – South Dakota State
Brett Taylor – LB – Sr. – Western Illinois
Jaison Williams – DE – So. – Austin Peay

Jerry Rice Award Finalists (FCS Freshman of the Year)
Kierre Crossley – RB – Central Arkansas
Troy Anderson – RB/LB – Montana State
Bryson Armstrong – LB – Kennesaw State
Grant Breneman – QB – Colgate
Davis Cheek – QB – Elon
Jabril Cox – LB – North Dakota State
Glenn Cunningham – LB – Fordham
Zane Dudek – RB – Yale
Wesley Dugger – RB – Davidson
Reynard Ellis – LB – Furman
Jaron Grayer – LB – Maine
Pete Guerriero – RB – Monmouth
Gresch Jensen – QB – Montana
Anthony Knighton – DE – Southern Illinois
Torrance Marable – RB – Presbyterian
Franklin “Mac” McCain III – CB – North Carolina A&T
Caylin Newton – QB – Howard
Kaelan Riley – QB – Mercer
Vincent Sellers – S – Tennessee State
Daniel Smith – QB – Campbell

Eddie Robinson Award Finalists (FCS Coach of the Year)
Tim Rebowe — Nicholls
Mike Ayers – Wofford
Brian Bohannon – Kennesaw State
Rod Broadway – North Carolina A&T
Kevin Callahan – Monmouth
Dave Cecchini – Valparaiso
Curt Cignetti – Elon
Charlie Fisher – Western Illinois
John Grass – Jacksonville State
Will Healy – Austin Peay
Mike Houston – James Madison
Dan Hunt – Colgate
Chris Klieman – North Dakota State
Mike London – Howard
Fred McNair – Alcorn State
Pete Rossomando – Central Connecticut State
Demario Warren – Southern Utah

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