YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Less than a week after being named preseason All-American, junior defensive end Derek Rivers has been named to the 2015 STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year Watch List.
Rivers was selected to the preseason STATS FCS All-America Third-Team. During the 2015 campaign, STATS LLC., will take over for The Sports Network as the foremost authority on the FCS.
Last year, Rivers was a first-team all-conference selection. He had 14 sacks, the third-most by a player in school history and the most by a Penguin in the regular season.
Of his 14 sacks, 10 came in Missouri Valley Football Conference action. He had 50 tackles on the season, 41 of which came in league play.
Additionally, he was the first YSU defensive lineman to earn first-team honors since Mychal Savage in 2009.
He is one of three Missouri Valley Football Conference players named to the Watch List.
Rivers is one of seven defensive starters to return from last season’s 7-5 squad. Also returning on the defensive unit are DE Terrell Williams, DT Emmanuel Kromah, LB Jaylin Kelly, FS Tre’ Moore, LB Dubem Nwadiogbu and CB Nate Dortch.
The Penguins will open the 2015 campaign on Sept. 5 when they visit Pittsburgh. Kickoff against the Panthers at Heinz Field is set for 1 p.m.
COURTESY: YSU SPORTS INFORMATION