Biermann named top defensive player; QB Foster wins Payton Award

Updated: December 14, 2007, 12:15 PM ET
Associated Press

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Montana defensive end Kroy Biermann won the Buck Buchanan Award on Thursday night as the top defensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Georgia Southern quarterback Jayson Foster won the Walter Payton Award as the top offensive player, and Northern Iowa coach Mark Farley won the Eddie Robinson Award as the coach of the year.

Biermann, who also earned All-America honors from The Associated Press and the Walter Camp Foundation, was the Big Sky Conference's defensive MVP. He led the league with 15 sacks (second-most in the nation). He also had 17 tackles for a loss, five forced fumbles and 68 total tackles.

The senior from Hardin, Mont., is the first Grizzlies player to receive the top defensive award, although Montana has had two runners-up -- Andy Petek (2000) and Vince Huntsberger (2001).

"Obviously it is an amazing feeling to be recognized for such a prestigious award," Biermann said. "To be chosen as the top defensive player in the FCS is truly a great experience. I know that other players who were up for this award all had amazing seasons and were just as deserving of it as I was. To receive the 2007 Buck Buchanan Award is truly a dream come true."

Biermann finished his collegiate career with 33 sacks, 45 tackles for loss, nine forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries in 52 games (22 of which he started).

"I think some of the credit should go to my coaches, my teammates and to my university," Biermann said. "To get the opportunity to be a part of the Montana Grizzly football program is something I am very thankful for and will cherish the rest of my life."

Montana State junior linebacker Bobby Daly of Helena, Mont., was sixth in this year's balloting.

The awards were presented on the eve of the Football Championship Subdivision championship game between Appalachian State and Delaware.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press