CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Citadel’s senior safety Kalik Williams has been named to the 2017 STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award Watch List, announced Friday.
Williams, the Southern Conference Preseason and reigning Defensive Player of the Year, finished with a team-high 103 tackles, including 10 for loss, with seven passes defended (two interceptions and five pass breakups) as The Citadel won a second consecutive SoCon title in 2016. Williams signature play came on his "Pitch Six" play in an overtime win at Wofford as the Bulldogs ran the table in the SoCon. He has been a key part of a dominant Bulldog defense in consecutive playoff appearances.
The Citadel opened practice on Thursday for fall camp and worked out through a downpour on Friday morning. The Bulldogs open the 2017 season against Newberry on Sept. 2 at Johnson Hagood Stadium.
Last year’s runner-up, Sam Houston State senior defensive end P.J. Hall, was among the candidates for 2017. Jacksonville State senior defensive end Darius Jackson, the Ohio Valley Conference defensive player of the year, Western Illinois linebacker Brett Taylor (seventh), South Carolina State linebacker Darius Leonard (10th), Houston Baptist linebacker Garrett Dolan (11th), Colgate defensive end Pat Afriyie (13th), North Dakota strong safety Cole Reyes (14th), Charleston Southern defensive end Anthony Ellis (21st) and Monmouth strong safety Mike Basile (24th) were all in last year’s final voting.
Also nominated to the watch list were defensive ends Keontre Anderson of Jackson State, Andrew Ankrah of James Madison, Kurt Holuba of Princeton, Greg Menard of North Dakota State and Ebenezer Ogundeko of Tennessee State; linebackers Nick DeLuca of North Dakota State and Christian Rozeboom of South Dakota State; cornerbacks Davontae Harris of Illinois State and Tremon Smith of Central Arkansas; safeties Marlon Bridges of Jacksonville State, Rob Rolle of Villanova.
The Buchanan Award, first awarded in 1995, has sent past winners such as Dexter Coakley, Rashean Mathis, Jared Allen, Arthur Moats and Kyle Emanuel on to the NFL. Northern Iowa defensive end Karter Schult was the 2016 recipient.
The watch list will have updates during the season. A national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will vote on 25 finalists following the regular season.