By staff
Chattanooga, TN (Sports Network) – Idaho State defensive end Jared Allen was named the 10th winner of the Buck Buchanan Award tonight at the Division I-AA College Football Awards held in Chattanooga, TN on the eve of the I-AA national championship. The Buchanan Award is presented annually to the top defensive player in I-AA football by The Sports Network, the nation’s premier real time sports wire service, whose Internet web site, www.sportsnetwork.com, is one of the most viewed sports sites in the world

The senior recorded 17.5 sacks, 102 tackles, 28 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, three recovered fumbles, and nine pass deflections during 2003, ranking among the Big Sky Conference leaders in several defensive categories. Allen, a First-Team All-America choice, led ISU to an 8-4 record this season, helping the school post its first back-to-back eight win seasons in school history. Idaho State finished the regular season ranked No. 21 in the nation.

Said Allen, “Being named the recipient of the Buck Buchanan Award is truly an amazing honor. There were so many deserving candidates this year, it was an incredible distinction just to be named in such an elite group. A lot of credit to this year goes to our team's successes over the past few years and, most of all, to my teammates, because football is a team game. I certainly share this with them.”

Allen is the eighth consecutive senior to win the award, and the first defensive end since North Carolina A&T’s Chris McNeil in 1997. Allen is the first player from the Big Sky Conference to win the Buck Buchanan Award and the first Big Sky player to take a major I-AA honor since Northern Arizona’s Archie Amerson won the Walter Payton Award in 1996.

Allen was at his best in the Bengals’ seven conference games, positing all but two of his sacks in league play. The Los Gatos, CA native was basically unblockable against opponents such as Eastern Washington (4 sacks), Montana (3.5 sacks), Weber State (2 sacks), and Portland State (2 sacks). After recording just four tackles for loss through his first four games, Allen exploded fro 24 in his final eight contests combined. The senior had a string of three straight games with a forced fumble, and ended the year by recovering a trio of fumbles in his final two outings. On the offensive end, the 6-6, 275-pounder lined up to catch at three-yard touchdown pass in an upset of Cal Poly on Nov. 15th.

He finished his outstanding collegiate career with 38.5 sacks and 250 tackles.

Notably, Allen received 28 first-place votes and 253 points from the panel of 91 I-AA sports information directors and selected media. Following Allen in the voting were Illinois State linebacker Boomer Grigsby, who earned 13 first-place votes and 193 total points, and Wofford safety Matt Nelson, who registered 10 first-place votes and 160 total points.

The Buck Buchanan Award was established in 1995 by The Sports Network. The Award is named for All-Pro defensive end Junious “Buck” Buchanan, who played for the Kansas City Chiefs after beginning his career at Grambling State University. Former Buchanan winners include Dallas Cowboys All-Pro linebacker Dexter Coakley (Appalachian State, 1995, 1996), Baltimore Ravens starting LB Ed Hartwell (Western Illinois, 2000), and Jacksonville Jaguars starting defensive back Rashean Mathis (Bethune-Cookman, 2002).

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