Nov. 26, 2005
Providence, RI - The race for the nation's top offensive player, defensive player and coach in I-AA football took a final step as the top 16 finalists for the Walter Payton Award, Buck Buchanan Award and Eddie Robinson Award were announced by the Sports Network. The voting took place from November 21-23, and the winners will be announced at the 19th Annual Division I-AA College Football Awards Banquet on December 15th in Chattanooga, TN.
Bears' senior running back Nick Hartigan (Fairfax Station, VA), the 2005 Ivy League Player of the Year and the nation's leader in rushing (172.7 yards per game) and scoring (12.6 points per game) is a finalist for the Payton Award as the nation's top player. Hartigan ran for 100 or more yards 23 times in his Brown career and rushed for a Brown record 1,727 yards in 2005, second best in Ivy League football history. His 4,492 career rushing yards are third best in the Ivy record book and rank 20th in NCAA history.
Junior linebacker Zak DeOssie (North Andover, MA) is finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award as the nation's top defensive player. DeOssie was ranked in the Top 10 nationally in four different national defensive categories - total tackles, solo tackles, forced fumbles and tackles for a loss, before suffering a season ending injury in Brown's eighth game of the season. He tied for the team lead in tackles with 80, including 12 tackles for a loss and five quarterback sacks.
Bears' head coach Phil Estes (East Greenwich, RI) is a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award as the nation's top coach after leading Brown to a 9-1 record, 6-1 Ivy, and the 2005 Ivy League Championship, Brown's first-ever outright Ivy League title in football. A native of Laconia, New Hampshire, Estes has now won two of Brown's three Ivy League Championships, also winning the title in 1999.