Dec. 18, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The FCS awards were handed out in Philadelphia on Monday evening, and the Patriot League ended up with top-10 finishers for three of the four individual honors.
Fordham had a pair of top-five honorees after Joe Moorhead was announced as the fifth-place finisher for the Eddie Robinson Award, given to the FCS Coach of the Year. Junior quarterback Michael Nebrich was previously announced as the fifth-place finisher for the Walter Payton Award as the Most Outstanding Player in FCS, with Lehigh's Lee Kurfis standing 18th in that voting.
Holy Cross quarterback Peter Pujals placed eighth for the Jerry Rice Award, which goes to the FCS Freshman of the Year. Lafayette quarterback Drew Reed came in 14th place, with Bucknell running back CJ Williams coming in 17th.
The winners announced on Monday evening included Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (Payton), North Dakota State Head Coach Craig Bohl (Robinson), Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp (Rice) and Montana State defensive end Brad Daly, who won the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in the nation.
Nebrich continues a trend of high finishes for Patriot League candidates in the Walter Payton Award voting. Colgate quarterback Gavin McCarney came in fifth place last season, while Lehigh's Chris Lum was one of the three finalists invited to the awards banquet in 2011 and ended up placing second in the voting. The Patriot League and Colonial Athletic Association are the only conferences with top-five finishers in each of the last three seasons. In addition, Colgate running back Nate Eachus placed sixth in the voting in 2010 and Holy Cross quarterback Dominic Randolph finished fifth in 2009 as the Patriot League has fared well for the past five years.
Moorhead is the Patriot League's highest finisher for the Eddie Robinson Award since Colgate's Dick Biddle came in third place in 2003. Pujals was the League's highest finisher for the Rice Award, which was handed out for the third season.
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 more, visit The Sports Network FCS Awards page