PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- The Sports Network announced today that Coastal Carolina senior Josh Norman has been named one of 20 finalists for the 2011 Buck Buchanan Award, which is presented annually to the FCS' (Football Championship Subdivision) Outstanding Defensive Player.
"Norman has spent his senior season shutting down offenses," said The Sports Network's Executive Director Craig Haley. "The 6-2, 190-pounder has played air-tight defense, ranking among the national leaders with 14 passes defended."
Prior to the 2011 season, The Sports Network listed Norman among its top 10 defensive backs in the nation. Norman is a two-time Big South Defensive Player of the Week honoree in 2011 and he leads Coastal Carolina in tackles with 57. He has been the Chants' top tackler in five games, and his 12 pass breakups this season is a CCU record and ranks sixth in the NCAA. Also, Norman's 44 unassisted tackles ranks sixth on the CCU single-season list.
Since 2000 when the NCAA began tracking passes defended and PBU, Norman ranks fifth all-time nationally in passes defended (48, includes 35 PBU and 13 interceptions), while he ranks sixth nationally with 35 career PBU.
For his career, Norman is the Big South and CCU leader in both passes defended (48) and pass breakups (35), while ranking second on both the Conference and school career lists in interceptions (13). Norman, who blocked a field goal in the Presbyterian win, has four career blocked kicks, tying for the CCU career record. Also, Norman ranks eighth on the CCU career tackles list (191) and fifth on the unassisted tackles list (133).
A two-time, First-Team All-Big South pick and 2009 All-American, Norman is the first Chanticleer to be a finalist for the prestigious award. Former Chanticleer quarterback Tyler Thigpen placed seventh in 2006 in the Walter Payton Award (FCS' Offensive Player of the Year) and was the Don Hansen's Weekly Gazette National Player of the Year.
Norman is the second Big South player on the Buchanan List this season, as Presbyterian College's Justin Bethel was added to the list in October. Voting for the award begins Nov. 21.