Nov. 28, 2012
Walter Payton Award Voting
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - For the second straight year, a Patriot League quarterback has been considered among the best players in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Colgate junior quarterback Gavin McCarney placed fifth in the Walter Payton Award voting released by The Sports Network on Wednesday. McCarney had 158 points to finish just six behind Eastern Illinois wide receiver Erik Lora in fourth. McCarney's 15 first-place votes were the most among all players whose votes were revealed, which included finishers 4-20 in the voting.
Wofford senior fullback Eric Breitenstein, Old Dominion sophomore quarterback Taylor Heinicke and Stony Brook senior running back Miguel Maysonet were the top three vote-getters, with the winner revealed at The Sports Network's FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation in Philadelphia on Dec. 17. The Walter Payton Award goes to the Most Outstanding Player in the FCS.
Voting was based entirely on the regular season, where McCarney dominated to win the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year award. He completed 146-of-234 passes for 2,253 yards and 15 touchdowns with just six interceptions, and did even more damage on the ground with 174 carries for 1,309 yards and 22 rushing touchdowns while leading Colgate to an 8-3 mark. Following Colgate's 31-20 loss to Wagner in the NCAA Division I Football Championship first round on Saturday, McCarney finishes the year completing 159-of-256 passes for 2,372 yards with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions and rushing 193 times for 1,406 yards and 23 touchdowns.
McCarney leads the nation in scoring with 11.67 points per game, is fourth in the FCS in points responsible for, sixth in passing efficiency, ninth in total offense and 12th in rushing. McCarney set a Patriot League single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback, with his 288-yard performance against Lafayette on Nov. 3 standing as the second-best rushing day by any player in Patriot League history. He led Colgate to a top-five mark nationally in regular-season rushing, total and scoring offense, and the Raiders averaged 49.3 points and 576.8 yards of total offense per game during Patriot League play.
The remaining three FCS major awards will be announced on Dec. 17 along with the Walter Payton Award winner. Georgetown senior linebacker Robert McCabe is up for the Buck Buchanan Award as the Top Defensive Player in the FCS, while Colgate's Dick Biddle and Fordham's Joe Moorhead are candidates for the Eddie Robinson Award as the FCS Coach of the Year. The Jerry Rice Award will also be presented to the FCS Freshman of the Year.
McCarney continues a trend of high finishes for Patriot League candidates in the Walter Payton Award voting. Last season, Lehigh quarterback Chris Lum was one of the three finalists invited to the awards banquet and ended up placing second to 2011 Walter Payton Award recipient Bo Levi Mitchell of Eastern Washington. Colgate running back Nate Eachus placed sixth in the voting in 2010, while Holy Cross quarterback Dominic Randolph finished fifth in 2009. There were 145 ballots cast last week in the FCS awards voting.
Patriot Leaguers have won major FCS awards five times. Colgate running backs Kenny Gamble (1987) and Jamaal Branch (2003) claimed Walter Payton Awards, while Holy Cross' Mark Duffner (1987), Lafayette's Bill Russo (1988) and Lehigh's Pete Lembo (2001) are Eddie Robinson Award winners.
For the full release from the Sports Network and the listing of vote totals for the 4th-20th place finishers, go here