James Madison senior defensive end Ron’Dell Carter has been voted one of three finalists for the 2019 STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award, which is presented annually to the most outstanding defensive player at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level.
Carter was joined by Nicholls defensive end Sully Laiche and Montana linebacker Dante Olson as finalists for the prestigious award. The winner will be announced at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet, which takes place on Friday, Jan. 10 in Frisco, Texas, on the eve of the national championship game.
Carter was selected as CAA Football’s Defensive Player of the Year after producing a dominant season on the Dukes’ defensive line. Through 13 games, he has tallied 24.0 tackles for loss, which is tied for second in the FCS, and 10.5 sacks, which ranks in the top 15 nationally. He has also contributed 56 total tackles, a forced fumble and 11 quarterback hurries for a JMU defense that ranks No. 1 in FCS in rushing defense, No. 3 in total defense and No. 3 in scoring defense.
Carter is JMU’s sixth top-three finalist and hopes to join Derrick Lloyd (2001) and Arthur Moats (2009) as Buchanan Award winners.
JMU defensive end John Daka, UAlbany defensive end Eli Mencer and Elon cornerback Greg Liggs, Jr. also finished among the top 16 in the voting for the Buchanan Award.
A national panel of 156 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries voted on the Buchanan Award following the regular season. Voters selected a top five on their ballot.
Carter is also a finalist for the Dudley Award, which is given to the top Division I football player in the state of Virginia. Other finalists are Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins and Virginia Tech linebacker Rayshard Ashby.