Drake's Claypool named to Buck Buchanan Award Watch List

Thursday, August 3, 2023
by Cody Bush, Media Relations

CHICAGO – Drake sophomore linebacker Finn Claypool, the reigning Pioneer Football League Freshman Defensive Player of the Year, was one of 35 athletes named to the preseason watch list for the 2023 Buck Buchanan Award, presented by FedEx Ground and given annually to the national defensive player of the year in Division I FCS college football.

Claypool, a Des Moines, Iowa native, is the only sophomore among the 35 athletes named to the watch list. He was a Preseason All-PFL selection this season after earning First Team All-PFL honores in 2022 as a freshman. Claypool finished third among PFL tacklers in both tackles for loss (14.5) and sacks (8.0) while also ranking among the FCS' top 25 in each category last season.

The Buchanan Award, first presented in 1995 and in its 28th season, is named for legendary defensive lineman Junious “Buck” Buchanan, who starred at Grambling State as part of his Hall of Fame career. Past recipients include Dexter Coakley, Rashean Mathis, Jared Allen and Arthur Moats.

A national media panel will select the Buchanan Award winner, with voting based on the regular season. The recipient will be announced at the FCS National Awards banquet in Frisco, Texas – on the eve of the national championship game.

Also this season, Stats Perform will present the Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year), Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman player of the year), Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year) and FedEx Ground Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year.