Walter Payton award recipient, Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke gets a hug from his mother Diane Dodsworth during the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) awards ceremony,Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Philadelphia. The Payton award, is named for the late Chicago Bears and Jackson State star, is presented to the best offensive player among the FCS schools each season. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
PHILADELPHIA — Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke has won the Walter Payton Award, given to the top player in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Heinicke, a Collins Hill grad, became just the second sophomore in FCS history to win the award, after receiving 72 first-place votes and 531 points Monday.
Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet finished second (284) and Wofford running back Eric Breitenstein (197) rounded out the top three. Heinicke is the ninth straight quarterback to be honored.
Colgate quarterback Gavin McCarney finished fifth overall with 158 points, but was second to Heinicke in first-place votes with 15.
Maysonet had 13 first-place votes after compiling 1,964 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns this season. Breitenstein received 11 first-place votes after posting 2,035 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns.
Heinicke led the FCS with 5,076 yards passing, a 390.5-yard average, and 55 total touchdowns for the Monarchs. Heinicke also ran for 470 yards on 126 carries as Old Dominion went 10-1 in the regular season. He credited a strong senior class for his big season.
"People kept working that much harder for the seniors," Heinicke said. "They came here based on a pamphlet and something that could have happened, and it did."
On Sept. 22, in a memorable 64-61 victory over New Hampshire, Heinicke set a Division I record with 730 passing yards and 791 yards of total offense.
Former Georgia Southern running back Adrian Peterson is the only other sophomore to win the award (1999). Peterson went on to an NFL career with the Chicago Bears from 2002-09.
The award was part of The Sports Network's FCS Banquet and Presentation at the Sheraton Society Hill Hotel.
"It's huge, very humbling," Heinicke said. "It's the Heisman of the FCS. That's a huge honor, very humbling and I'm very excited about it. I can't thank enough of my family, my coaches, my trainer back home. All this hard work is really paying off."
Earlier in the day, Montana State defensive end Caleb Schreibeis won the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top defensive player in the FCS. The senior from Billings, Mont., is the first Montana State player to win the award, and the fifth from the Big Sky Conference, which has won four of the past six Buchanan awards.
Schreibeis led the FCS with eight forced fumbles this season. He led the Big Sky with 12.5 sacks and 15 tackles for a loss. He tallied 59 tackles with seven quarterback hurries and four passes broken up.
Schreibeis received 35 first-place votes, 18 second-place votes and 14 third-place votes to finish with 319 points. Jeremy Kimbrough of Appalachian State was second with 287 points.