For the fourth time in the last five seasons, the NJCAA national defensive player of the year resides in the Jayhawk Conference.
Butler defensive end Cornellius Carradine won the nation's top defensive honor on Monday after the 6-foot-5, 257-pound Florida State signee led Butler to Jayhawk and Region VI titles, along with a national runner-up finish.
Carradine led the Jayhawk with 120 tackles and 16 sacks. He also had 20 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.
"Cornellius was very deserving of it, in my mind," Butler coach Troy Morrell said. "He was a guy that consistently made plays all year long, and in some cases was able to dominate to the point where he took the game over.
"As the season went on, it was interesting to see teams try to put two and sometimes three guys on him; and he still managed to flourish."
Carradine follows linebacker Austin Panter (2006) and defensive end Markus White (2007) as national defensive players of the year from Butler. Hutchinson defensive tackle Eugene Kinlaw won the award in 2009.
Butler running back Rudi Johnson was the national player of the year in 1999 — the NJCAA did not start honoring an offensive and a defensive player of the year until 2000.
White also went on to play for Florida State.
"I think (Cornellius) is very well-prepared for the next level, in that he's going into a similar defense," Morrell said. "He's a similar player to Markus; and from seeing the success he's had at Florida State, I think Cornellius can do some good things."
Arizona Western running back Reggie Bullock was named the offensive player of the year after rushing for 1,830 yards and 20 touchdowns.