Of all the awards bestowed on defensive end Karter Schult after his record-breaking 2016 senior season with the UNI Panthers, the one he received Friday night was the most-coveted of them all.

Schult garnered the Buck Buchanan Award, presented annually to the nation's top defensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The Tripoli native was honored at a ceremony in Frisco, Tex., where the FCS national championship game is being played on Saturday (Jan. 7, 2017).

Schult is the first player in UNI history to win the Buck Buchanan Award and the fourth from the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC). He was one of three finalists.

Karter Schult / Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications

Schult led all of Division I football in quarterback sacks during the regular season, racking up 17.0. He set a new UNI record for tackles for loss in a season with 24.0, giving him the UNI career record with 56.0.

Schult is the sixth UNI football player to be named a finalist for the award (see list below). He was the 2016 MVFC Defensive Player of the Year, FCS ADA Defensive Player of the Year, Madness FCS Defensive Player of the Year and a consensus All-American.

He is a two-time All-MVFC first-team honoree and two-time Scholar-Athlete first-team selection at UNI. He also earned three MVFC Player of the Week nods this past season.

Schult recorded at least one sack in 10 of the 11 games in 2016. Along with his single-season records, he tied the UNI record for single-game tackles for loss with 5.5 against 14-ranked Montana.

He finished third on the team in total tackles with 69, leading all defensive linemen in the league during the regular season. Along with his sacks and tackles for loss, he also racked up four quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, a blocked kick, a safety and his first-career interception to give him a well-rounded senior campaign.

Schult finished his career at UNI ranked first all-time in career tackles for loss (56.), yards from tackles for loss (266), yards from sacks (215) and quarterback hurries (20), also ranking No. 2 in career sacks with 35.5.

UNI's Buck Buchanan Award Finalists
2001 – Adam Vogt (4th place)
2011 – L.J. Fort (2nd place), Ben Boothby (9th place)
2014 – Xavier Williams (13th place)
2015 – Deiondre’ Hall (5th place)
2016 – Karter Schult (WINNER)