Trio in secondary joins STATS FCS Defensive Watch List
(STATS) - The only defensive back to win the FCS defensive player of the year award was Bethune-Cookman's Rashean Mathis back in 2002.
Thirteen years later, this could be that position's lucky season again.
Players in the secondary aren't taking a backseat to anybody in the FCS this season as many standouts are filling stat sheets and making game-winning plays across the 125-school subdivision.
Free safeties DeAndre Houston-Carson of William & Mary and Wallace Scott of McNeese State and cornerback DeVonta "Dee" Delaney of The Citadel have been playing at an All-America level and putting their respective team in position to win a conference title.
All three players were named to the STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year Watch List on Wednesday.
DeVonta "Dee" Delaney, The Citadel, CB, R-So., 6-1, 191, Beaufort, South Carolina=
Score one for the "Dee"-fense at The Citadel - literally, that is - as Delaney has notched touchdowns off an interception and a fumble recovery while building on his standout freshman debut last year. He is tied for the FCS lead with five INTs and for second with two passes defended per game. Excellent in coverage because of his long frame and athleticism, Delaney was named the Southern Conference's defensive player of the month for September. With Delaney as a defensive anchor, The Citadel has been the surprise of the conference and holds a share of first place with No. 5 Chattanooga.
DeAndre Houston-Carson, William & Mary, FS, R-Sr., 6-2, 195, Woodford, Virginia=
If spectacular plays were a statistic, Houston-Carson would be among the national leaders. Most recently, he blocked punt in a victory over defending CAA Football champion New Hampshire - the ninth blocked kick of his career. Although a pro prospect at cornerback, Houston-Carson selflessly embraced a position change to free safety to help the Tribe defense this year. He is a long, dynamic player who plays with a cerebral style. He leads the team with 45 tackles and has two interceptions, one which he returned 94 yards for a touchdown against Villanova - the longest pick in school history.
Wallace Scott, McNeese State, FS, R-Sr., 6-1, 211, Weyanoke, Louisiana=
Scott also has made a position change in moving to free safety from outside linebacker and he's been even better while McNeese State has surged to first place in the Southland Conference. He tends to make a game-changing play each game and has been named the conference's defensive player of the week three times in the Cowboys' first six games. Scott has scored twice off three fumble recoveries, including a 97-yard return against Stephen F. Austin. He also has 32 tackles, including 21 solos, two sacks, two pass breakups and one forced fumble.
Other players on the STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year Watch List are defensive ends James Cowser of Southern Utah, Tyrone Holmes of Montana, Victor Ochi of Stony Brook, Derek Rivers of Youngstown State, Noah Spence of Eastern Kentucky, Chima Uzowihe of Liberty and Jonathan Woodard of Central Arkansas; defensive tackles Javon Hargrave of South Carolina State and O.J. Mau of Gardner-Webb; linebackers Kourtney Berry of Alabama State, Don Cherry of Villanova, Deon King of Norfolk State, Cory Magwood of Furman, Pat Meehan of Illinois State, James Rentz of Sacred Heart, Darnell Sankey of Sacramento State and Connor Underwood of Indiana State; cornerbacks Casey DeAndrade of New Hampshire, Deiondre' Hall of Northern Iowa, Jermaine Hough of Jacksonville State and Harlan Miller of Southeastern Louisiana; and safety Donald Payne of Stetson.
The Watch List can undergo revision during the 2015 season. A national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will vote on the award after the regular season.