EAST GREENSBORO (August 2, 2018) –North Carolina A&T defensive end Darryl Johnson, Jr.(6-5, 232, R-JR, Kingsdale, Ga.) added to his preseason accolades in 2018 by being added to the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List on Thursday by STATS FCS.
It is an exceptional honor for Johnson considering during the Aggies last seven years of dominance on the defensive end, Johnson is the only Aggie to earn a spot on the Buchanan Watch List during that span. The Buchanan Award is given to the best defensive player in the nation on the Division I-Football Championship Subdivision level.
The last time an N.C. A&T Aggie who won the Buck Buchanan Award was in 1997 when N.C. A&T Sports Hall of Famer Chris McNeil won the honor. Johnson played on an Aggies defense that was ranked fourth in total defense, third in scoring defense, fifth in rushing defense and ninth in sacks, nationally.
They also allowed the second-fewest first downs in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Johnson contributed to those rankings by making 40 tackles (25 unassisted) with 15.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Nationally, Johnson ranked 12thin forced fumbles, 30thin fumble recoveries and 37thin tackles for loss. He was third in the conference in forced fumbles and fifth in recovered fumbles.
With help from Johnson, the Aggies were the only FCS team to go undefeated as they finished 12-0. He also helped the Aggies win the MEAC title, the Celebration Bowl and the HBCU national championship. The Aggies ended the season as the only undefeated team on the FCS level as they finished No. 6 in the nation in the NCAA FCS Coaches poll and No. 7 in the STATS FCS Media poll.
Prior to the season, Johnson has also earned preseason first-team all-conference honors from the MEAC and STATS named him a preseason third-team All-American.
Aggies football opens the 2018 season in the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff on ESPN, 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25 in Montgomery, Ala., at the historic Cramton Bowl against Jacksonville State.
N.C. A&T is currently the defending MEAC champion in football, women’s basketball, bowling, indoor men’s track and field, outdoor men’s track and field, indoor women’s track and field and baseball. Follow Aggies football on Twitter (@football_ncat). Follow Aggie Athletics on Twitter (@ncataggies), Instagram (@ncatathletics) and Facebook (@ncatathletics).
STATS is the world’s leading sports technology, data and content company. In 2015 they acquired The Sports Network and made a commitment to bolster its FCS coverage including the creating of a direct-to-consumer news site and end-of-season awards show to honor past and present performers of FCS football.