Taylor Heinicke has won the Walter Payton Award given to the top offensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision. The Old Dominion Monarchs quarterback threw for over 5,000 yards and compiled 55 total touchdowns. Heinicke became just the second sophomore to ever win the award and the ninth straight quarterback to receive the honor. He took 72 first-place votes to claim the trophy.
To put Heinicke’s season in perspective, Johnny Manziel put up 4,600 total yards and 43 touchdowns en route to becoming the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy. Of course, Manziel plays in the Football Bowl Subdivision and in the SEC, so therefore gets more publicity. However, what Heinicke accomplished in 2012 was impressive and shouldn’t be ignored.
Heinicke added 470 rushing yards which gave him a total of 5,546 for the season. That mark ranked second best all-time in FCS history for a single-season behind Steve McNair. Heinicke also had a signature game this season in a 64-61 victory over New Hampshire. He threw for 730 yards and finished with 791 yards of total offense in that contest alone. Both of those feats were Division 1 records.
Heinicke still has two years of eligibility left and will certainly get to add to his career passing yardage of 7,461. If he keeps up this pace he may just set some records that will be tough to break. Unfortunately for Heinicke he won’t get to ply his trade in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Old Dominion will be heading to Conference-USA in 2015, but Heinicke will have graduated by then and be hoping for a shot at the pros.
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