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Hagen Named to Buck Buchanan Award Watch List
The preseason awards continue to roll in for Liberty's senior safety Jacob Hagen, who has been named to the 2014 Buck Buchanan Award Watch List, as announced by the Sports Network earlier today.
The Buck Buchanan Award, which annually honors the top FCS defensive player in the country, is named for Junious "Buck" Buchanan, the NAIA All-American and Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive lineman who played for Grambling State University from 1959 through 1962. The winner is chosen by a nationwide panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries from the division.
Hagen was one of three Big South players named to the 2014 Buck Buchanan Award Watch List. He was joined by two-time Big South Defensive Player of the Year Quinn Backus, a linebacker from Coastal Carolina, and Gardner-Webb defensive tackle O.J. Mau.
The Buck Buchanan will celebrate its 20th anniversary this season and be presented by the Sports Network at the FCS national awards banquet on Dec. 15.
Hagen is the first Liberty player to be named to a Buck Buchanan Award Watch List in program history. Liberty has had three players named to other top award watch lists sponsored by the Sports Network.
Current N.Y. Giants running back Rashad Jennings finished eighth in the final voting for the Walter Payton Award in 2008, the award given out to the top FCS offensive player in the country.
Mike Brown, who is a current member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, finished in 11th place in the Walter Payton Award voting in 2010 and 17th in 2011.
Josh Woodrum, Liberty's returning starting quarterback, finished in 13th place in the final voting for the Jerry Rice Award in 2012, the Sports Network's annual award for the top FCS freshman in the country.
This is the third preseason award for Hagen this year. Previously this summer, Hagen has been named to the College Football Performance Award Defensive Backs Watch List, and he earned a second-team nod on the 2014 Sports Network FCS Preseason All-America team.
Hagen had a breakout season in 2013, earning Associated Press FCS All-America honors (third team), as well as being selected All-Big South first team and VaSID all-state first team.
Hagen finished the 2013 season with a career-best 61 tackles (34 solo, 27 assisted), which nearly doubled his career total through his first two seasons with the Flames (76 tackles).
He led the Big South and ranked No. 9 in the country in interceptions per game (0.5). His six picks during his junior season were the most interceptions by a Flame since Richard Shelton, who played five years in the NFL, finished the 1987 season with a half-dozen interceptions for Liberty.