ODU’s Heinicke wins Walter Payton Award

odu logoOld Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke became just the second sophomore in FCS history to win the Walter Payton Award, given to the best player in the Football Championship Subdivision.  Heinicke received the award at The Sports Network’s FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation at the Sheraton Society Hill Hotel on Monday evening.

Heinicke becomes the ninth-straight quarterback to win the award.  He received 72 first place votes and 531 points while Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet finished second with 284 points while Wofford fullback Eric Breitenstein finished third with 197 points.

Heinicke joins former Georgia Southern running back Adrian Peterson as the only sophomores to win the award.  Peterson won the award in 1999.

A native of Atlanta, Ga., Heinicke’s record-setting season included breaking Steve McNair’s (Alcorn State, 1994) FCS single-season passing yards record with 5,076 yards and also surpassing the single-season record for completions with 398, breaking Brett Gordon’s record of 386 for Villanova in 2002.

Heinicke led the FCS with his 5,076 passing yards, 390.5 passing yards per game, 44 touchdown passes, 55 total touchdowns, 26.00 points responsible for and 426.6 yards of total offense per game.

The ODU quarterback burst onto the national scene on Sept. 22 when he set the Division I record with 730 passing yards and 791 yards of total offense in ODU’s 64-61 win over No. 18 New Hampshire.

Heinicke tied the FCS record by throwing for 200 yards in 13 games while passing for 300 yards nine times and going for 400 yards five times.  He tossed three TD passes nine times and four or more scores on six occasions, including a season-best seven in the win over Campbell.

In the Monarchs’ second round FCS playoff win over Coastal Carolina, Heinicke set a single-game playoff record with 542 yards of total offense, throwing for 497 and running for another 45 yards.  He also tied the single-game record with six TD passes.

For the season, Heinicke was 398-of-579 for 5,076 yards and 44 touchdown passes.  He also had 126 carries for 470 yards and 11 touchdowns.

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