William & Mary's Couplin Selected to Buchanan Award Watch List
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (Nov. 15, 2013) – William & Mary standout senior free safety Jerome Couplin III has been selected to the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List, which includes 20 of the nation’s top defensive players in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The Buchanan Award is given annually to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player in the FCS.
A three-year starter and team captain, Couplin has established himself as one of the country’s premier defensive players this fall and currently ranks sixth nationally in solo tackles per game (6.0). Additionally, he ranks tied for sixth in the Colonial Athletic Association with 8.8 tackles per game – a figure that leads the league among defensive backs.
In addition to recording a team-high 88 tackles (60 solo), Couplin’s stats include a 51-yard fumble return for a touchdown, two forced fumbles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and four passes defended.
The Upper Marlboro, Md., native was recently named the CAA Defensive Player of the Week after a 51-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the win at then-No. 15/21 Delaware last Saturday. Among Couplin’s other outstanding performances this season were a 14-tackle (10 solo) effort at West Virginia and a 13-tackle outing at Maine.
W&M currently boasts one of the nation’s top defensive units and leads the country in scoring defense (12.2), while it ranks sixth in total defense (294.2), eighth in rushing defense (102.0), 10th in third down conversion defense (30.8) and 11th in passing efficiency defense (107.2). The Tribe has been especially effective during the past three games, all of which have come against nationally ranked teams that averaged more than 32 points per game, and has allowed just one offensive touchdown.
Couplin becomes the third Tribe player in the last five years to earn a spot on the prestigious award’s watch list, as Adrian Tracy (2009) and B.W. Webb (2012) also garnered the distinction.
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