FCS 2019 Pioneer Awards


Offensive Player of the Year: Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton

Photo: Dayton Athletics

Trautman is the FCS’s top-ranked tight end in receiving touchdowns (14), receptions (6.4 per game), receiving yards (916) and scoring (7.8 points per game). Overall, he is ranked among the FCS’s Top 50 in each of those categories, including third in the nation in receiving touchdowns.  He also ranked first or second in each of the receiver categories in the PFL.

The Flyer co-captain finished his Dayton career with the school record for receptions in a season (70), TD catches in a season (14), career receptions (178) and career touchdown catches (31).

The 6-6, 230-pound product of Williamsburg, Mich. has already accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.  He is a finalist for the STATS FCS Walter Payton Award, which goes annually to the top offensive player in FCS football.  He is also the only tight end on the Payton Award list.


Defensive Player of the Year: Colby Duncan, LB, Stetson

Photo: Stetson Athletics

Duncan, who finished his career second only to Payne in total tackles as a Hatter, led Stetson this year with 98 total stops to finish his career with 279 tackles. His final game, at Morehead State, was one of his best when he posted a career-high 20 total tackles, joining only Payne on the list of players who have hit that milestone in a game.

One of Duncan’s other standout performances during the year came against Dayton, when he held the Flyers’ star tight end, Adam Trautman to just five catches for 83 yards and one score in the Hatters’ 38-21 victory. The Dayton standout was recognized on Monday as the PFL Offensive Player of the Year, the first time in the history of the Pioneer Football League for a tight end to earn that honor.  


Nat L. Faybian’s Mock Draft, version 1.0


Special Teams Player of the Year: Tanner Kuljian, P, San Diego

Kuljian, a redshirt junior from Temecula, California, was the league’s second-ranked punter over the entire season, averaging 40.4 yards per punt on 31 attempts in 11 regular-season contests, including six punts of 50-plus yards. In PFL play, he boasted a league-best 40.6 yard-per-punt mark over 22 kicks. It is the second consecutive year a member of the Toreros special teams unit has earned the PFL’s top special teams award. 


Offensive Freshman of the Year: Jalen Leary, RB, Stetson

Photo: Stetson Athletics

Leary, a freshman from Savannah, Georgia, finished 2019 with 1,013 rushing yards (92.1 per game) and seven touchdowns, ranking among the league’s Top 5 and the FCS’s Top 30 in all three categories. He posted 818 rushing yards and five touchdowns in PFL play, averaging 102.2 yards per game. He had a 220-yard performance against Dayton and three other 100-yard rushing outings during the season. 


Defensive Freshmen of the Year: Ethan Hull, LB, Jacksonville

Hull, a redshirt freshman from Crestwood, Kentucky, posted 84 tackles (7.0 per game) and 7.5 tackles for loss in his first PFL campaign. He led all freshman defenders in tackles this season and was ninth among all PFL tacklers. Hull finished the eight-game league slate with 52 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss. He is the second Jacksonville athlete to earn the Freshman Defensive Player of the Year award, joining Mike Klein (2010). 


Coach of the Year: Dale Lindsey, San Diego

Lindsey earns his third Coach of the Year award, the 2019 honor joining his 2014 and 2016 awards. He led San Diego to its fourth consecutive perfect 8-0 league mark and its sixth-straight PFL title (five of those outright). Lindsey finished the season with a 53-3 career PFL mark, becoming the fourth coach in league history to record 50 career PFL victories. 


2018 Pioneer Awards


QBRB | WR | TE | OT | OG | OC

Nat L. Faybian’s NFL Draft Players Position Rankings

DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | ST

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