PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Missouri State safety Caleb Schaffitzel (Jr., Fair Grove, Mo.) is one of 20 nominees on the 2013 Buck Buchanan Award Watch List which was announced here Thursday (July 11). The 19th annual award is presented by The Sports Network to the outstanding defensive player in the Division I FCS ranks each season.
The MSU standout is one of five players from the Missouri Valley Football Conference up for this year's Buchanan Award along with Marcus Williams (CB) and Grant Olson (LB) of North Dakota State, Tyler Starr (LB) of South Dakota and Illinois State's Colton Underwood (DE).
The honor is Schaffitzel's fourth major preseason award after being named to The Sports Network Preseason All-America squad on July 1. He was also named to the College Football Performance Awards' Defensive Back Award Watch List and the Beyond Sports Network Preseason All-America Team in June. Schaffitzel was a 2012 All-America selection by the Associated Press and The Sports Network as well as earning National Defensive Back of the Year laurels by the CFPA.
Last season, Schaffitzel registered a team-high 109 tackles for the Bears with 5 interceptions and 11 passes defended. He tied for 10th nationally in interceptions per game (0.45) and finished 23rd in tackles per game (9.91) in the final NCAA Division I FCS statistical rankings. He was also a two-time MVFC Defensive Player of the Week, two-time CFPA National Defensive Back of the Week and one-time CFPA National Defensive Player of the Week. The Sports Network named him as its National Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 5 for his efforts against No. 1 North Dakota State. In the NDSU game, he broke an MSU record and tied an MVFC record with a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown.
In 2012, he was also named to the Capital One Academic All-America second team, All-Missouri Valley Football Conference first team, and MVFC All-Academic first team while earning MSU's Media Player of the Year, Team MVP and Lifter of the Year Award.
The native of Fair Grove, Mo., is one of 10 returning starters on the Missouri State defense this fall. Under eighth-year head coach Terry Allen, the Bears will open fall camp on July 31 and will meet the media at MSU's annual Media Day event Aug. 5.
The Buchanan Award Watch List can undergo revisions during the 2013 season. Ballots will be sent to a panel of about 175 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries following the regular season. The winner will be invited to The Sports Network FCS Awards Presentation on Dec. 16. The Sports Network also presents the Walter Payton, Jerry Rice and Eddie Robinson awards. The Payton Award honors the outstanding player in the FCS, the Rice Award goes to the FCS freshman of the year and the Robinson Award honors the FCS coach of the year.
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