University of Northern Iowa senior linebacker L.J. Fort finished second in the balloting for the Buck Buchanan Award as the nation's top defensive Football Championship Subdivision player, The Sports Network announced Thursday. Matt Evans of New Hampshire claimed the award with 442 total points, while Fort received 365 points.
Fort's finish is the highest ever by a UNI player, topping Adam Vogt's fourth-place finish in 2001. Fort received 31 first-place votes and was named on 98 ballots.
Fort has been named an All-American by five different organizations for the 2011 season. He was a first-team All-America pick by The Sports Network, Walter Camp, Phil Steele, and College Sports Madness, and a third-team selection by the Associated Press.
Fort (Waynesville, Mo./Waynesville HS) was the nation's leading tackler with an average of 14.15 tackles per game, and his 184 total stops in 2011 set a UNI single-season record. Fort posted 10.0 tackles-for-loss, six forced fumbles, three pass breakups and one fumble recovery in 2011.
Fort was also named the FCS National Defensive Player of the Year by College Sports Madness and took home MVFC Defensive Player of the Year honors.
UNI senior defensive tackle Ben Boothby finished ninth in the voting with 61 points, making UNI the only school with two top-10 finishers.