Source: JMU's Moats Will Win Buchanan Award

By: Damon Dillman Email
By: Damon Dillman Email

Ask James Madison's Arthur Moats to grade his own senior year, and the defensive end gets a little nitpicky.

"I feel I had a real good year. If I had to put a letter grade on it, I would say an A," Moats said Wednesday by phone. "A-plus if I would have gotten the record for sacks and everything. So we'll just leave it at an A."

Moats led JMU with 90 tackles, and the entire country with 23.5 tackles for a loss. He also finished with 11 sacks, one shy of Chris Morant's single-season school record.

Even without that record, Moats has been well recognized this postseason.

Last month he was named CAA Defensive Player of the Year. On Wednesday, he was named an FCS All-American by both the Associated Press and American Coaches' Association.

According to a JMU football source, on Thursday, Moats will win this year's Buck Buchanan award, given annually to the top FCS defensive player in the country.

He's one of 16 finalists for the award. The winner will be announced Thursday night in Chattanooga.

Moats is currently in New Jersey training for a possible future in the NFL. He said he's flying to Chattanooga Thursday morning, and will attend the annual Sports Network Awards banquet with JMU head coach Mickey Matthews and defensive line coach J.C. Price.

"Oh, it means a lot," Moats said of the nomination. "I feel finally that all my hard work throughout the off-season and through the season has finally paid off. I feel I'm finally getting the recognition I feel like I deserve. I just feel like it puts me on a national level now."

If he wins, Moats would join Derrick Lloyd as the only Buck Buchanan award winners in school history. Lloyd won the award in 2001.

Linebacker Akeem Jordan was the runner-up in 2006, and four other Dukes have been named finalists.


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