The STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year award will be awarded to the FCS player who a panel of 150 sports information directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries believes to have had the best defensive performance of the season. The organization compiles a watch list in the preseason of players expected to be among the best in the subdivision, and adds to that list as the season progresses.
Today, they added Villanova defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon.
The 6-7, 290-pound senior from Ambler, PA was an all-conference first-teamer last season, and is having an arguably much better season in 2016. In the first five weeks of the season Kpassagnon has 11 tackles for loss and five sacks, and has been a key playmaker for a potent Villanova defensive unit. The hyper-athletic end has NFL size and speed, and showed great awareness scooping up a fumble to score on the first play of Villanova’s game against Lafayette.
He was named to the third team on STATS FCS Preseason All-America listings, but could be much better than that.
Also added to the list this week were Monmouth Safety Mike Basile, Jacksonville State Defensive End Darius Jackson, and Saint Francis Safety Lorenzo Jerome.
The Preseason selections to the watch list included defensive ends Pat Afriyie of Colgate, Andrew Ankrah of James Madison, Keionta Davis of Chattanooga, Anthony Ellis of Charleston Southern, P.J. Hall of Sam Houston State, Javancy Jones of Jackson State, Caleb Kidder of Montana, Greg Menard of North Dakota State, Ebenezer Ogundeko of Tennessee State, Derek Rivers of Youngstown State and Karter Schult of Northern Iowa; linebackers Kourtney Berry of Alabama State, Dylan Cole of Missouri State, Nick DeLuca of North Dakota State, Christian Kuntz of Duquesne; Darius Leonard of South Carolina State, Folarin Orimolade of Dartmouth and James Rentz of Sacred Heart; cornerbacks Casey DeAndrade of New Hampshire and Dee Delaney of The Citadel; and safeties David Jones of Richmond and Donald Payne of Stetson.