Coastal’s Backus lands on Buchanan Award watch list

Coastal Carolina junior linebacker Quinn Backus was one of 20 players in the nation named to the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List by The Sports Network on Tuesday. The Buck Buchanan Award is presented annually to the Outstanding Defensive Player in the FCS.

Backus, an All-American and Big South Defensive Player of the Year last season, becomes the second Chanticleer to make the official Buck Buchanan Award candidate list as current Carolina Panther Josh Norman placed 19th in the voting in 2011. Backus is the third Chanticleer to be a national Player of the Year candidate as Tyler Thigpen placed seventh in the Walter Payton Award voting in 2006, while being the Don Hansen Weekly Gazette National Offensive Back of the Year that season as well.

Backus has led the 5-0 and sixth-ranked Chanticleers in tackles in four of their five games this season and leads the Big South in solo tackles. Backus, who ranked 16th in the NCAA FCS in tackles last season, is averaging 7.2 tackles per game this season despite playing just the first half in a 50-17 win over Hampton – a game Backus tallied a team-best five stops.

For the year, Backus has 45 tackles – 27 solo – with 2.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, 2 pass break-ups, 1 interception and a touchdown off a blocked field goal. This season, Backus was named National Linebacker of the Week by College Football Performance Awards. In the 2013 season opener at South Carolina State, he lived up to his preseason hype by registering 10 tackles (seven solo) with a sack and a 56-yard touchdown off LaDarius Hawthorne’s blocked field goal.

The following week, in a 35-28 win over Furman, Backus was named the Big South Defensive Player of the Week and was one of five players named a National All-Star (two on offense, two on defense and one on special teams) by College Sporting News. Backus recorded 15 tackles, including nine solo, with a three-yard tackle for loss, an interception and two pass breakups versus the Paladins. He set the tone early by picking off a pass on Furman’s opening drive, marking his third career interception. In the second quarter, Backus had a three-yard tackle for loss on third-and-two from the CCU 17. Furman would be forced to kick a field goal, which sailed wide left. Early in the third quarter, with Furman facing third-and-19, Backus made a big hit on receiver Gary Robinson, who dropped the ball for Backus’ first pass breakup. Then on 4th-and-20 on Furman’s final offensive play, Backus nearly picked off a pass, but ultimately recorded his second PBU to seal the victory.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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