James Madison redshirt-junior quarterback Vad Lee (Durham, N.C./Hillside (Georgia Tech)) has been named the Bill Dudley Award, the Richmond Times-Dispatch announced Wednesday at a banquet in Short Pump, Virginia.
The award, named after running back Bill Dudley, who played for three different NFL teams and was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1966, is given to the best Division I football player in Virginia by The Touchdown Club of Richmond and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
A Second Team All-Colonial Athletic Association pick and fourth in the walter payton award balloting as the FCS outstanding player, Lee had a record-setting season after transferring in the spring to JMU and leading the most prolific offense in the league. Lee set new single-season school records in passing completions (282), attempts (465), yards (3,462) and touchdowns (30) as well as total offense (4,288 yards).
A three-time CAA Offensive Player of the Week pick, he set the single-game passing record twice this year, becoming the first-ever JMU player to surpass the 400-yard mark with 406 at Villanova Sept. 20 before extending it with 433 yards in the 55-20 victory at then No. 14-Richmond, Nov. 15. Lee threw for more than 300 yards in five contests and had a streak of six games with at least 250 passing yards. Lee also did it on the ground, ranking ninth in the league at 63.5 yards per game and a team-high nine rushing touchdowns on the season.
He set a personal collegiate career-best with 174 rushing yards against Saint Francis, also the team season-high mark. He led the Dukes to a 9-4 record overall, 6-2 and third place in the CAA and the program’s first berth in the FCS playoffs since 2011.
Other finalists were quarterback Taylor Heinicke of Old Dominion and cornerback Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech. Other previous JMU winners of the prestigious award are last year’s winner linebacker Stephon Robertson, and 2008 winner quarterbackRodney Landers.