Schaffitzel Tabbed for Buck Buchanan Award Watch List
July 10, 2014
PHILADELPHIA - Missouri State safety Caleb Schaffitzel (Sr., Fair Grove, Mo.) is one of 20 nominees on the 2014 Buck Buchanan Award Watch List, announced Thursday (July 10) by The Sports Network. The Buchanan Award is presented to the outstanding defensive player in the Division I FCS ranks each season.
Schaffitzel, who was a finalist for the same award last season, is one of just two players from the Missouri Valley Football Conference up for this year's Buchanan Award along with fellow strong safety Colten Heagle of North Dakota State. A Fair Grove, Mo., product, Schaffitzel was named to The Sports Network's 2014 Preseason FCS All-America squad last week after earning consensus first-team All-America honors, as well as a first-team Academic All-America recognition, as a junior in 2013. The two-time All-Missouri Valley Football Conference performer led the Bears with 111 tackles to go with a team-high four interceptions. He ranked among the nation's top defenders in several statistical categories, including 43rd in tackles and 31st in interceptions, while ranking second in the MVFC in both categories.
In addition to Schaffitzel--who finished 15th in the Buchanan Award balloting last fall--five 2014 senior nominees were finalists last season: Coastal Carolina linebacker Quinn Backus (seventh); Norfolk State linebacker Lynden Trail (eighth); Eastern Washington linebacker Ronnie Hamlin (12th); Chattanooga defensive end Davis Tull (13th); and Harvard defensive end Zach Hodges (16th).
Also nominated to the watch list were defensive tackles O.J. Mau of Gardner-Webb and Troy Moore of Sacred Heart, defensive ends James Cowser of Southern Utah, Mike Reilly of William & Mary, Zack Wagenmann of Montana and Jonathan Woodard of UCA, linebackers Tony Bell of UT Martin and Stephen Hodge of Fordham, cornerbacks Harlan Miller of Southeastern Louisiana and Tye Smith of Towson, and safeties Daniel Fitzpatrick of Tennessee State, Jacob Hagen of Liberty and Jaquiski Tartt of Samford. Each is a senior except Mau, Miller and Woodard, who are juniors.
The Buchanan will celebrate its 20th anniversary this season and be presented by The Sports Network at the FCS national awards banquet on Dec. 15. Past recipients include two-time winner Dexter Coakley, Jared Allen, Rashean Mathis, Kroy Biermann and Montana State's back- to-back winners Caleb Schreibeis in 2012 and Brad Daly last season.
Coach Terry Allen's Bears return 36 lettermen and 12 starters from a team that finished 5-3 in the highly-competitive MVFC race last season to tie for second place. The Bears open the 2014 campaign on Thursday, Aug. 28 at Northwestern (La.) State at 6 p.m. MSU will makes its debut in the newly-renovated Plaster Stadium and debut the new BearFest Village concept for the Saturday, Sept. 13 game against North Dakota.
Bears football season ticket information is available at MissouriStateBears.com/tickets or by calling (417) 836-8899.