Buchanan Award finalist: Bearkats' Roberson terrorized QBs
By CRAIG HALEY
(STATS) - It started midseason against Stephen. F. Austin. Then against Northwestern State. Then Lamar. Before opponents knew it, Sam Houston State defensive end Derick Roberson was enjoying one of the more dominant stretches of the FCS season.
Three sacks. Three more. Then two. Then one and a half. Another two.
Quarterbacks got the point.
By season's end, the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Texas terror had posted 15 sacks in his senior season - tying for the FCS high and the Sam Houston single-season record - plus he had 20.5 tackles for 150 yards in losses.
After I had three sacks in the Stephen F. Austin game, my confidence increased, which helped me elevate my game throughout the season," Roberson said. "I knew I could perform at a high level after playing in that game, in an NFL stadium and on that stage. From there, I knew it was going to be hard for anyone to stop me."
Roberson is one of three players who have been invited to the announcement of the STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award at the national banquet Jan. 4 in Frisco, Texas. The others up for national defensive player of the year are junior linebackers Zach Hall of Southeast Missouri and Dante Olson of Montana.
Roberson's low-key demeanor off the field belies his passion on it. His breakout senior season was exactly what the Southland Conference program's defensive line needed after it lost four-year star P.J. Hall to the NFL last year. Roberson, who spent two years at the University of Texas before transferring to Sam Houston, is expected to follow Hall to the next level. Famed NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. wrote during the season about the possibility of Roberson being a second-day pick in the draft.
Roberson was in on a sack in each of the Bearkats' final eight games. He also finished the season with five forced fumbles - tying for the second-most in the FCS - 68 tackles, two pass breakups, a blocked kick and a safety in 11 games.
Updated December 29, 2018