Edwards, Hudgins, Karim Named as Top-Three 2009 Payton Award Finalists
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ — Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards, Elon wide receiver Terrrell Hudgins and Southern Illinois running back Deji Karim were announced last week as the three finalists for the 23rd annual Walter Payton Award.
The Payton Award, which is voted on by an elite panel of sports information directors, writers and broadcasters covering FCS football, goes to the top player in the sub-classification.
The winner will be named on Dec. 17 in Chattanooga, TN at The Sports Network’s annual awards banquet. In addition, the 23rd Eddie Robinson Award and the 15th Buck Buchanan Award will be handed out to the top coach and top defensive player in FCS at the Chattanooga Marriott, the night before the NCAA Division I Football Championship game.
In alphabetical order below are a list of the three finalists’ accomplishments:
ARMANTI EDWARDS, Appalachian State, Senior, 6-0, 184, Quarterback, Greenwood, S.C.
Regular Season Stats: 189-of-261 (72%), 2,504 yards passing, 10 passing touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 101 carries, 575 yards rushing, 16 rushing touchdowns, 5.7 average, 3,079 yards of total offense, 9 games played.
Edwards, the defending Payton Award winner leads the nation’s second-ranked offense and ranks third nationally in total offense and fifth in passing efficiency. Edwards is the FCS active career leader in touchdowns responsible for (135) and passing efficiency and became the first player in FCS history to compile 9,000 career passing yards and 4,000 yards rushing. This season, he earned national player of the week honors twice for his performances in wins over Wofford and Furman. He ranks fifth all-time in FCS with 13,862 yards of total offense and is second on the career charts in rushing yardage for quarterbacks with 4,257 yards.
TERRELL HUDGINS, Elon, Senior, 6-2, 236, Wide Receiver, Rocky Mount, N.C.
Regular Season Stats: 111 catches, 1,466 yards receiving, 15 receiving touchdowns, 13.2 average, 11 games played.
Hudgins has dominated most receiving categories this season. The senior leads the nation in both receptions and receiving yards and he broke Jerry Rice’s Division I record for most career 100-yard receiving games (26) and Jacquay Nunnally’s mark for career receiving yards (5,083). His 383 career receptions and 51 touchdowns scored are both school records. Hudgins caught a touchdown pass in all but two games in 2009. This is Hudgins’ third appearance on the Payton Award list, as he finished 11th in 2007 and 15th in 2008.
DEJI KARIM, Southern Illinois, Senior, 5-11, 205, Running Back, Oklahoma City, OK.
Regular Season Stats: 205 carries, 1,512 yards rushing, 16 rushing touchdowns, 7.4 average, 13 catches, 161 yards receiving, 12.4 average, 2,068 all-purpose yards, 1 kickoff return touchdown, 11 games played.
Karim has come on strong this season and helped lead Southern Illinois to its first outright Missouri Valley Football Conference title since 2004 and seventh straight playoff appearance. The Salukis maintain the nation’s fourth- ranked rushing attack and fifth-rated scoring offense. Karim ranks second nationally in rushing this season, third in all-purpose yards and ran for a career-high 273 yards and three scores in a win over Illinois State to capture national player of the week honors. He had scored a touchdown in seven straight games and has rushed for at least two touchdowns in five games. In addition, he has four touchdown runs of 70 yards or more. His lone kickoff return touchdown came on an 82-yard scamper against Southwest Baptist. His 7.2 yards per carry this season rank second in school history, and his 1,512 yards are good for fourth- best in the SIU record books. This is Karim’s first appearance on the Payton Award list.
The Walter Payton Award was established in 1987 by The Sports Network. Several previous winners have gone on to outstanding professional careers in football, including Tony Romo (Eastern Illinois), Brian Westbrook (Villanova), Steve McNair (Alcorn State), Adrian Peterson (Georgia Southern), Jerry Azumah (New Hampshire), Brian Finneran (Villanova), Dave Dickenson (Montana), and Dave Meggett (Towson).
SOURCE The Sports Network