Edwards repeats as Payton Award winner
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. ó Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards became the first two-time winner of the Walter Payton Award, which goes to the top FCS player.
The award was announced Thursday night, a day before Montana (14-0) and Villanova (13-1) were slated to play in the FCS national title game.
Edwards is the first quarterback in NCAA history to pass for more than 10,000 yards and rush for over 4,000 yards in his career. He won national championships in his first two seasons and guided the Mountaineers to a victory at Michigan in 2007.
The 185-pound senior ended his career with 10,392 yards passing and 4,361 rushing. His 14,753 yards of total offense ranks him second all-time behind the late Steve McNair, who played at Alcorn State and was honored during the awards banquet.
Edwards led Appalachian State to its fifth consecutive Southern Conference title and an NCAA playoff berth this year. He finished this season with 3,291 yards passing and 12 touchdown passes. He ran for 679 yards and 18 touchdowns.
The other finalists were Southern Illinois tailback Deji Karim and Elon receiver Terrell Hudgins.
James Madison defensive end Arthur Moats won the Buck Buchanan award honoring the top defensive player in the FCS. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound senior from Portsmouth, Va., led the nation with an 231/2 tackles for loss and was fourth with 11 sacks. He also piled up 90 tackles and returned a fumble for a 68-yard touchdown.
Appalachian State defensive back Mark LeGree placed fifth in the voting for that award.
Prarie View A&M coach Henry Frazier III won the Eddie Robinson Award for top FCS coach after leading the Panthers to their third straight winning season. Frazier is the first coach from the Southwestern Atlantic Conference and first coach at a historically black college or university to win the award.