New Hampshire junior linebacker Matt Evans won the Buck Buchanan Award on Thursday night as the Football Championship Subdivision's outstanding defensive player.
He led FCS players with 154 tackles and 88 solo stops.
"I just try, and want to be, the best player I can be," Evans said. "If I play well and get those honors, that is just added incentive. Obviously, it means more to me for the team to have a better season."
Evans appeared on 113 of the 132 ballots and received 45 first-place votes. Northern Iowa senior linebacker L.J. Fort was second in the voting.
Towson running back Terrance West won the inaugural Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman. West ran for 1,294 yards and an FCS-high 29 rushing touchdowns.
Also, Towson coach Rob Ambrose won the Eddie Robinson Award as the coach of the year. The Tigers were 9-3 and won the Colonial Athletic Association title after finishing 2-9 and 1-10 in Ambrose's first two seasons.
On Saturday night, Sam Houston State will face North Dakota State in the division championship game.