Western Illinois senior linebacker and Macomb native Brett Taylor has been named as a finalist for the STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award, which honors the FCS Defensive Player of the Year. Taylor is one of three finalists for the award, joined by James Madison's Andrew Ankrah and Jacksonville State's Darius Jackson. As a finalist, Taylor is invited to the STATS FCS Awards Banquet on Jan. 5 in Frisco, Texas.
This season Taylor led the nation in tackles (162), tackles per game (13.5) and assisted tackles (96). Taylor has already been named Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the fourth player in program history to earn a conference Defensive Player of the Year award. Throughout the season, the senior captain earned four Valley Defensive Player of the Week awards.
Should Taylor win the national award, he will be the third player in program history to do so. James Milton (1998) and Edgerton Hartwell (2000) are the only other two Leathernecks to garner this honor, with four others having been named finalists in the past. Taylor was a finalist for the award in 2016, finishing seventh in the final voting.