Chicago, IL – Austin Peay State University (APSU) football’s Kordell Jackson and Draylen Ellis were named to the Stats Perform FCS Buck Buchanan Award and Walter Payton Award watch lists, respectively.
Jackson, who was a finalist in 2019 and 2020-21, is one of 35 players named to the Buck Buchanan Award watchlist, which is annually given to FCS Defensive Player of the Year.
Ellis is one of 35 players named to the Walter Payton Award watchlist, which is given to the FCS Offensive Player of the Year.
A two-time Consensus All-American, Jackson has been a problem for opposing offenses since he arrived at Austin Peay State University.
After recording seven interceptions in 2019, teams shied away from throwing at the 5-10 nickelback in 2020-21, which allowed Jackson to rack up a team-best 10.5 tackles for loss. The Birmingham, Alabama native ranked second in the Ohio Valley Conference and 11th in the FCS in total tackles for loss during the 2020-21 season.
In his first season in Clarksville, Ellis joined Jeremiah Oatsvall (2017) as just the second Governor to earn OVC Freshman of the Year honors. The 6-0 signal-caller completed 104-of-201 passes for 1,270 yards and 14 touchdowns while adding 84 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground in his debut season.
Ellis highlighted his freshman campaign with a program-record six touchdown passes at Southeast Missouri, which earned him Stats FCS National Freshman of the Week honors. The Olive Branch, Mississippi native also became the first player in program history to be named a finalist for the Stats Perform FCS Jerry Rice Award, which recognizes the FCS National Freshman of the Year.
Prior to the 2021 season, Jackson and Ellis also were named the OVC Preseason Defensive and Offensive Players of the Year. This is the second consecutive season that the APSU Governors have swept the OVC’s Preseason Player of the Year awards, with Jackson and DeAngelo Wilson garnering the honors for the 2020-21 season.
More players will be added to the Buck Buchanan and Walter Payton Award watch lists throughout the season. A national media panel will then select the winners for both awards, along with the Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman player of the year), Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year), and Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year, following the season.