Dayton Flyers Football News: Safety Brandon Easterling Named To Stats Perform Buck Buchanan Award Watch List

Brandon Easterling running back a turnover for a TD (courtesy Dayton Media Relations)

Flyer Safety Was A Finalist For The Award In 2019

STATS PERFORM – University of Dayton senior safety Brandon Easterling is one of 35 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) players named Thursday to the Stats Perform Buck Buchanan Award Watch List.  The Buchanan award goes annually to the FCS defensive player of the year.   

Easterling was a 2019 FCS All-American by HERO Sports, the Walter Camp Foundation, the Associated Press and STATS FCS.  He was a finalist for FCS Stats’ Buck Buchanan Award.  He finished eighth in the Buchanan voting and was one of just two defensive backs in the top 10.

The Fairborn, Ohio native led FCS in solo tackles (7.5) and was second in total tackles (12.7) by 0.058 tackles per game.  His nine turnovers acquired (six interceptions, three fumbles) were the most in FCS football in 2019.  He was second by 0.058 tackles per game to Montana’s Dante Olson.  Easterling also tied for second in interceptions per game (0.5) and tied for third in fumbles recovered (3).

He etched his name in the record books with a 100-yard interception return at Drake on Nov. 16.  Easterling was named the winner of Dayton’s top defensive honor, the Chief Toscani Hitter Award.

He has been a contributor from the moment he set foot on campus in 2017.  He played in 10 games with one start as a true freshman, and saw action in eight games with two starts in 2018.

Easterling is the third Dayton player ever named to the Award’s preseason watch list.  Flyer James Vercammen was named in 2010 and linebacker Chris Beaschler in 2017.  

Dayton has a student-athlete on both watch lists for Stats Perform’s top FCS awards.  Jack Cook was named to the Walter Payton Watch List on Wednesday.  UD is one of just 11 schools that have players on both lists.

UD was 8-3 overall and 6-2 in the PFL’s last fall season in 2019.  The Flyers finished tied for second in the league that year with a 6-2 PFL record.  Dayton won its last four games in 2019.  

The Flyers open the 2021 season at home against Robert Morris on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 12 noon ET.    For ticket information, please visit