ELON, N.C. – Elon University senior defensive back Greg Liggs, Jr.(Southeast Guilford High School) has been named a finalist for the 2019 Buck Buchanan Award, announced Monday, Nov. 25, by STATS. The award, handed out annually to the top defensive player at the FCS level, will have a winner on Friday, Jan. 10, on the eve of the FCS national championship game in Frisco, Texas.
Liggs had a strong final season in maroon and gold, pacing the nation in interceptions with eight while setting a new Elon Division I mark for the most in a season. With his career in the books, his 15 career interceptions goes down as the most by an athlete during Elon’s Division I tenure to date. The Greensboro, N.C., native was named to the midseason watch list earlier in November while taking home STATS FCS National Defensive Player of the Week honorable mention twice and a CAA Football weekly honor on Oct. 28 after his three-interception game against Rhode Island.
Named a Preseason All-American by Phil Steele, Liggs was also named a Second Team All-CAA honoree last season and expects to be among the honorees again when CAA Football announces its postseason awards. Throughout the 2019 campaign, Liggs also had three interceptions against New Hampshire and finished with a 12-tackle afternoon with eight solo stops against William & Mary, a game in which he punched loose a ball on the one-yard line in the first overtime period to help Elon prevent a touchdown on the first offensive series of the extra session on the way to the longest football game in Elon history at five overtimes.
In being named a finalist, Liggs gives Elon two finalists in three seasons after Warren Messer was named a finalist after the 2017 campaign. Liggs is just the third Elon student-athlete to be named a finalist for the award, joining Messer and two-time finalist Chad Nkang in 2005 and 2006. Nkang’s fifth-place finish in 2005 marks the best by an Elon athlete to date.
A national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will select the winners. Voting is based on the regular season. All four awards – the Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year), the Buchanan Award, the Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman of the year) and the Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year) – and the STATS FCS Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be celebrated at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation, scheduled for Jan. 10 in Frisco, Texas, on the eve of the national championship game.