Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Buck stops here

For an unprecedented third straight year, a Cal Poly football player has won the Buck Buchanan Award.
Linebacker Jordan Beck (2004) and defensive end Chris Gocong (2005) ran away with the award the previous two seasons.
This year, it was senior linebacker Kyle Shotwell who took home the award, edging out James Madison linebacker Akeem Jordan on Thursday as Division I-AA’s top defensive player.
As relieved as Shotwell was to finally emerge from the shadow of the two NFL defenders before him, he pointed out the Mustangs’ three Buchanan award winners had a lot in common during their playing days at Cal Poly.
“All three of us really love the game and enjoy getting better at the game,” he said in a phone interview from Chattanooga, Tenn. “Coming into college, we didn’t exactly know where our careers were headed. All we knew is that we wanted to be the best and pushed each other to be that way. That’s the common denominator, we were never satisfied with being average and that was contagious.”
How will Shotwell celebrate the Mustangs’ third straight Buchanan award?
On Friday, he’ll attend the Division I-AA Championship Game between Appalachian State and UMass, wondering what could have been if the Mustangs had made it to the 16-team playoffs.
On Saturday, he’ll be watching his old friend Beck and the Atlanta Falcons host the Dallas Cowboys, wondering what it would feel like to play in the NFL.
But if Beck or Gocong’s paths to the league are any indicator, Shotwell could find out soon enough.
“That’ll be fun watching Jordan play again,” he said, “because he’s a good friend, a guy whose footsteps I’ve been following at Cal Poly.”


Anonymous said...

Way to go KYLE!!!
We are proud of you.
Congratulations on winning the Buchanan award. This is great for you and great for Cal Poly.

Peck said...

I think both Jordan Beck and Chris Gocong are on Injured Reserve this year, let's hope Kyle and those two guys can see some NFL time next year.

Brian Milne said...

Both Beck and Gocong were on IR as first-year players because of preseason injuries, but Beck is on the field this year. He has 11 tackles in 12 games as a backup linebacker.