FRISCO, Texas — After posting one of the best seasons in school history, William & Mary sophomore linebacker John Pius was selected as runner-up for the Stats Perform Buck Buchanan Award, which honors the national defensive player of the year in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
Pius was among an elite group of three finalists selected by a 54-member panel who attended the FCS National Awards Banquet in Frisco, Texas on Saturday evening. Illinois State linebacker Zeke Vandenburgh won this year’s award, while Central Arkansas defensive end David Walker finished third in the voting.
A consensus All-America selection, Pius was honored as the 2022 Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Dudley Award, which is given each year to the best college football player in Virginia.
The Arlington, Va., native ranked fourth nationally in sacks (11.5) and sixth in TFL (19). A two-time CAA Defensive Player of the Week, Pius led W&M in tackles (72) and quarterback hurries (12).
Pius helped lead W&M to a remarkable 2022 campaign in which it equaled a school record for wins (11) and posted program records for regular season victories (10) and road triumphs (6). Additionally, the Tribe secured a share of the CAA title, earned a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Playoffs and advanced to the quarterfinals.