Skip to comments.ODU's Heinicke wins Payton, FCS' Heisman Trophy
Posted on 12/17/2012 6:46:52 PM PST by wolfman23601
Old Dominions Taylor Heinicke capped a record-breaking season in which he became the most prolific passer in the history of the Football Championship Subdivision by winning the Walter Payton Award on Monday night.
Surrounded by family and friends from his hometown of Atlanta, and an entourage of ODU officials, Heinicke accepted the award as he was accorded a standing ovation by several hundred spectators at The Sports Network FCS banquet at the Sheraton Society Hill.
Other than the national championship, theres not a better award you could win, Heinicke said. Its a huge honor and Im very humbled.
Im speechless. Im so happy right now. Im so excited that its ridiculous. I cant even put it into words what Im feeling.
ODU officials called the award a milestone for a program that has just been playing football for four seasons.
The award, named for the former Jackson State University and Chicago Bears star, is presented to the best player among the 121 FCS schools each season. It is considered the FCS equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
A panel of 145 voters, composed of sports information directors, broadcasters and journalists, picked Heinicke over a pair of record-breaking running backs. Stony Brooks Miguel Maysonet and Woffords Eric Breitenstein finished second and third in voting, respectively.
Maysonet led Stony Brook to a share of the Big South Conference title and rushed for a school and conference record 1,964 yards on 267 carries with 23 total touchdowns.
Breitenstein helped Wofford win a share of the Southern Conference title and surpassed his own school record as a senior, rushing for 2,035 yards and 29 touchdowns on 244 carries.
But Heinickes statistics were more impressive. He completed 398 of 579 passes for 5,076 yards and 44 touchdowns while guiding ODU to an 11-2 record. He ran for an additional 11 touchdowns.
He set NCAA records for passing yards and completions in a season and led the nation in six offensive categories.
When he helped rally ODU to a 64-61 victory over New Hampshire in September, he set a Division I record with 730 passing yards. It was one of several records he broke previously set by Steve McNair at Alcorn State.. His 791 yards of total offense set the record in all college divisions.
Weve got a great person, someone whos a deans list student in engineering, and hes the best football player in the country, ODU coach Bobby Wilder said.
I got to watch this young man break Steve McNair's all-time passing record. Ive been coaching for 26 years and Ive never seen anything like this.
I cant possibly understate what this means to our program and to Old Dominion. This means that across the country, people will recognize the fact that we have the best player in the country playing for Old Dominion.