2018 FCS OPOY: Walter Payton Award

COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S FCS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD

The STATS FCS Walter Payton Award recognizes the Offensive Player of the Year in the Football Championship Subdivision.

WHO VOTES?

A national panel of 153 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries voted on the Walter Payton Award following the regular season. Voters selected a Top 5 on their ballot.

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THIS YEAR’S WINNER…

DEVLIN HODGES, QUARTERBACK, SAMFORD BULLDOGS

Hodges set a school record for single-season passing yards, throwing for 4,283 yards this season, breaking the old record of 4,088, set by Hodges in 2016. He led the nation in passing yards per game (389.4), total passing yards (4,283) and total offense per game (417.8).

For his career, Hodges became the all-time leader in career passing yards in FCS history. His 14,584 career passing yards broke the old FCS national record of 14,496, set by Steve “Air” McNair of Alcorn State from 1991-94. McNair earned the 1994 Walter Payton Award.

In addition to the FCS record for career passing yards, Hodges also set FCS records for career completions and attempts. Hodges has rewritten the Samford record book, as he will leave school owning 23 different school records.

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The 2018 Walter Payton Award finalists included:

  • Devlin Hodges, QB, Samford: 51-18-19-12-7-415
  • Chandler Burks, QB, Kennesaw State: 24-28-23-12-17-342
  • Easton Stick, QB, North Dakota State: 29-16-20-17-12-315

2018 Heisman Trophy

COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER

The Heisman Memorial Trophy, usually known colloquially as “the Heisman Trophy” or simply just as “The Heisman”, is awarded annually to the most outstanding player in college football. The winner epitomizes great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.


It’s one of the few statues in all of sports where winners can mimic the pose depicted.

The award is presented by the Heisman Trophy Trust in early December before the postseason bowl games.

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THIS YEAR’S WINNER…

KYLER MURRAY, QUARTERBACK, OKLAHOMA SOONERS

Heisman winner Kyler Murray (middle), poses with Dwayne Haskins (left) and Tua Tagovailoa (right) before the announcement.
Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kyler Murray of the University of Oklahoma was selected on Saturday (Dec. 8) as the 84th winner of the Heisman Memorial Trophy, an award presented annually by the Heisman Trophy Trust to the most outstanding player in college football.

The 5-10, 195-pounder from Allen, Texas, threw for 4,054 yards and 40 touchdowns, with another 892 yards and 11 scores on the ground while leading the Sooners to a 12-1 record, the Big 12 title and a berth in the College Football Playoff. His passer rating of 205.72 is the best in Heisman history, eclipsing the mark of 203.76 set by Mayfield in 2017.

He’s the seventh Sooner to win the Heisman, joining Billy Vessels (’52), Steve Owens (’69), Billy Sims (’78), Jason White (’03), Sam Bradford (’08) and Mayfield (’17).  That total ties Notre Dame and Ohio State for most Heisman wins.

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The 2018 Heisman Trophy finalists included:

  • Alabama – QB Tua Tagovailoa, sophomore
  • Ohio State – QB Dwayne Haskins, sophomore
  • Oklahoma – QB Kyler Murray, junior

2018 Lombardi Award

THE BEST COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYER

The Lombardi Award is awarded by the Lombardi Foundation annually to the best college football player, regardless of position, based on performance, as well as leadership, character, and resiliency.

From 1970 until 2016 the award was presented by Rotary International specifically to a lineman or linebacker.

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THIS YEAR’S WINNER…

UGOCHUKWU AMADI, S, OREGON DUCKS

Amadi returned 14 punts for 223 yards with an impressive 15.93 average.
Photo: Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports

Oregon safety Ugochukwu Amadi won the Lombardi Award as the top college football player in the nation, regardless of position, based on performance, leadership, character and resiliency

Amadi began his career in Eugene, Oregon, as a cornerback, but successfully switched to safety his junior season. This past year, he became the first Power 5 player since 2015 to return two interceptions as well as a punt for a touchdown in the same season. He had 55 total tackles, 43 solo, four tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, three interceptions with two returned for touchdowns, eight pass breakups and a forced fumble.

In addition to the Lombardi, Amadi was Jim Thorpe semi-finalist, a AP PAC-12 All-Conference second team, a Coaches PAC-12 All-Conference honorable mention, a PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Week (Nov. 5) and made the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll. The 5’10” 185 pound safety from Nashville, Tennessee, played in all 51 games from 2015-2018 and now enters the NFL draft in pursuit of a professional career. 

MORE: Ugo Amadi looked to be a key player in the Redbox Bowl.

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The 2018 Lombardi Award finalists included:

  • Oregon – S Ugo Amadi
  • Notre Dame – CB Julian Love
  • Clemson – DT Christian Wilkins
  • Washington State – QB Gardner Minshew Ii
  • Oklahoma – QB Kyler Murray
  • Kansas State – OT Dalton Risner
  • Alabama – OT Jonah Williams

2018 Walter Camp Award

COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR

The award is named for Walter Camp, “The Father of American Football,” who played at Yale from 1877-82 and is credited with creating many strategy features which led to the development of the organized game.

The Walter Camp Trophy

Who Votes?

The winner is decided by a group of NCAA Division I FBS head coaches and sports information directors under the auspices of the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

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THIS YEAR’S WINNER IS…

TUA TAGOVAILOA, QUARTERBACK, ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE

Tagovailoa played in 15 games this year completing 69 percent of his passes for 3,966 yards and is averaging 265.4 yards per game. Of his 199 completions, 43 were touchdowns. Only six of his 355 passing attempts were interceptions. He finished this season with an amazing passing efficiency rating of 199.4. He has also rushed for six touchdowns and 355 yards.

Along with being named the Walter Camp Player of the Year, Tagovailoa was more recently name to the 2018 consensus All-American team (Jan. 8th, 2019) edging out Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray.  

There are five outlets is used to determine consensus All-Americans: the American Football Coaches Association, Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News and the Walter Camp Foundation. 

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The 2018 Walter Camp Award finalists included:

  • West Virginia – QB Will Grier, senior
  • Oklahoma – QB Kyler Murray, junior
  • Washington State – QB Gardner Minshew II, senior
  • Alabama – QB Tua Tagovailoa, sophomore
  • Kentucky – LB Josh Allen, senior