JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (August 25, 2003) - East Tennessee State senior cornerback Tony Tiller (Lithonia, Ga.) was one of just 16 players chosen on a watch list for the Buck Buchanan Award released Monday afternoon by The Sports Network.
The Buck Buchanan Award is given annually to the top defensive player in Division I-AA football. Tiller is one of two Southern Conference players on the list, with Appalachian State defensive end K.T. Stovall also earning recognition. Bethune-Cookman defensive back Rashean Mathis, a second-round draft pick of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, took home the 2002 Buchanan Award.
Tiller has established himself as one of the best defensive backs in the nation over the last two seasons. He has been named the second-best cornerback in I-AA football going into the 2003 season by The Sports Network and also earned first-team Preseason All-America honors from the organization. Tiller is a first-team Preseason All-Southern Conference selection after being named all-conference following each of the last two years. Last season, Tiller had one interception and tallied 41 tackles, one for a loss.
Both the Buchanan Award and the Walter Payton Award, given to the top offensive player in Division I-AA football, will be presented at the 17th annual I-AA College Football Awards on Dec. 18 in Chattanooga, Tenn.
To follow Tiller's progress throughout the season compared to the other 15 members of the watch list, log on to www.sportsnetwork.com and click on I-AA College Football.