Colgate's McCarney Named Walter Payton Award Candidate

Colgate's Gavin McCarney

Nov. 13, 2012

Sports Network FCS Awards page

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Colgate Head Coach Dick Biddle has called junior quarterback Gavin McCarney a Walter Payton Award candidate on numerous occasions this season. Now, it is officially true as McCarney was added to the candidate list for the most prestigious honor in the Football Championship Subdivision on Tuesday.

McCarney has led Colgate to a six-game winning streak that carried the Raiders to the Patriot League title and automatic FCS playoff berth with a 35-24 win at Lehigh on Saturday. Colgate has scored at least 30 points in eight consecutive games, and McCarney has been at the heart of an offense that ranks third in the nation in scoring and total yards and seventh in rushing.

The junior quarterback leads the nation with 12.8 points per game as he has rushed for a staggering 21 touchdowns. McCarney has also thrown for 14 scores, and is second in the country with 35 touchdowns responsible for. His 159.65 passing efficiency rating ranks fourth in the country, while McCarney is seventh with 317.20 yards of total offense per game and 16th with 113.10 rushing yards per contest.

For the season, McCarney has completed 134-of-214 passes for 2,041 yards and 14 touchdowns with only five interceptions. He has carried 152 times for 1,131 yards and 21 touchdowns, averaging a staggering 7.4 yards per carry for the year. McCarney has set a Colgate single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback, and is just 18 yards from the Patriot League record. He has six 100-yard rushing games for the year, and has gone over the century mark in each of Colgate's five Patriot League games. McCarney ran for 288 yards in a 65-41 win over Lafayette on Nov. 3, coming three yards shy of the Patriot League record and setting a mark for single-game rushing by a quarterback.

McCarney was added to the Walter Payton candidate list on Tuesday along with Appalachian State quarterback Jamal Jackson. The Walter Payton Award has been presented by The Sports Network since 1987 to the Most Outstanding Player in the FCS.

Other nominees on the Watch List are quarterbacks Casey Brockman of Murray State, Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois, Taylor Heinicke of Old Dominion, DeNarius McGhee of Montana State, Wynrick Smothers of Central Arkansas and Brad Sorensen of Southern Utah; running backs Zach Bauman of Northern Arizona, Shakir Bell of Indiana State, Jamaine Cook of Youngstown State, Matt Denham of Eastern Kentucky, Timothy Flanders of Sam Houston State, Miguel Maysonet of Stony Brook, Terrance West of Towson, Deonte Williams of Cal Poly and Zach Zenner of South Dakota State; fullback Eric Breitenstein of Wofford; and wide receivers Erik Lora of Eastern Illinois and Aaron Mellette of Elon.

The Payton Award will be voted on by a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries following the regular season. The top three vote-getters will be invited to the FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation on Dec. 17 in Philadelphia.

They will be joined at the banquet by the winners of the Buck Buchanan, Jerry Rice and Eddie Robinson awards, which also are presented by The Sports Network. The Buchanan Award honors the FCS defensive player of the year, the Rice Award goes to the FCS freshman of the year and the Robinson Award honors the FCS coach of the year. Georgetown senior linebacker Robert McCabe is a top contender for the Buchanan Award as he leads the nation with 144 tackles and also has 14 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

Two Patriot Leaguers have won the Walter Payton Award, and both were running backs from Colgate. Kenny Gamble claimed the inaugural honor in 1987, while Jamaal Branch took home the trophy in 2003 as the Raiders made it all the way to the national title game. Last year, Lehigh quarterback Chris Lum finished second in the Walter Payton Award voting and Georgetown defensive end Andrew Schaetzke placed fourth for the Buchanan Award.

For candidate bios on McCarney, McCabe and the other contenders as well as a history of the honors, go to the Sports Network FCS Awards page