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 width=The leader in the middle of the Illinois State defense has improved his numbers each of the last two seasons and is poised for a big senior season, which is why senior middle linebacker Pat Meehan was named to the 2015 STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year Watch List Wednesday.

One of 22 players and nine linebackers named to the STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year Watch List, Meehan is the first Redbird to appear on the list since 2013 when former teammate Colton Underwood was a finalist for the annual award.

Meehan, a 2015 STATS FCS Preseason All-America Second-Team selection, earned 2014 All-MVFC First-Team honors at middle linebacker after leading the Redbirds with 115 tackles. Those numbers ranked him No. 10 in the MVFC with an average of 7.7 tackles per game.

He added three sacks, six tackles-for-loss and four pass breakups to his defensive totals and also recorded an interception and recovered a fumble. He posted five double-digit tackle efforts, including a season-high 13-tackle effort in the season finale vs. Southern Illinois, and finished with 12 tackles in the FCS Championship against North Dakota State.

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