Earlier this week, Griz quarterback Jordan Johnson was singled as one of the top offensive players in the FCS to watch this coming season when he was named to the Walter Payton award watch list. Thursday it was time for a Grizzly defensive player to be put in the spotlight as Zack Wagenmann was named to the Buck Buchanan award watch list, which is handed out annually to the country’s top FCS defensive player of the year.
Wagenmann is certainly deserving of the recognition; Last season the Missoula native was third in the Big Sky Conference with 8.5 sacks and also ranked third in tackles for loss with 16.5. The Griz captain was a first team all Big Sky player for a second straight year in the fall of 2013.
Entering his final year of action, Wagenmann already ranks top 10 in Griz history for career sacks and tackles for loss.
Wagenmann is one of three Big Sky Conference players to make the watch list this season. Only one Monatna Grizzly gridiron star has ever won the Buck Buchanan award (which is announced at the end of the season). That was Montana native and current NFL player (Atlanta Falcons) Kroy Bierman who took home the top defensive honors back in 2007.