2012 Buck Buchanan Award Watch List: Northern Colorado's Clarence Bumpas Receives Preseason Honor

The 2012 preseason Buck Buchanan Watch List came out on Thursday and Northern Colorado Bears linebacker Clarence Bumpas is an early candidate for this award. This award is given out to the most outstanding defensive player at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level.

Here is the write-up on Bumpas, a junior this fall:

The physical Bumpas led the Big Sky Conference with 145 tackles as a sophomore and ranked fourth in the FCS with 13.2 tackles per game. His breakout season included 19 tackles against Weber State, 18 versus Northern Arizona and nine games with at least 10 tackles. A Colorado native who transferred home from Kansas State last year, Bumpas combines big size (6-foot-2, 244 pounds) and long arms with terrific pursuit of ball carriers. The inside linebacker was named to the All-Big Sky second team a year ago.

Montana St. Bobcats defensive tackle Zach Minter is the other Big Sky player to make this list. Entering his senior season, Minter had 7.5 sacks as a junior.

New Hampshire linebacker Matt Evans won the award in 2011 and is the favorite to win the award again. Dexter Coakley won the award the first two years the honor was given out in 1995 and 1996. The Appalachian St. alum is the only player to capture the award twice.

The Big Sky Conference has four Buchanan award winners. Jared Allen of Idaho State won the award in 2003 while Montana DE Kroy Biermann and Eastern Washington DE Greg Peach and LB J.C. Sherritt won the award in 2007, 2008 and 2010, respectively.

New Big West member Cal Poly had three winners in a row in 2004-2005 (Jordan Beck, Chris Gocong, Kyle Shotwell) while a member of the now defunct Great West.

For more, stick with SB Nation Denver. For more news, notes and analysis from around the country, head over to SB Nation's college football news hub.

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