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#CAAFB National Award Finalists

Nov 19, 2012, 3:07 PM EDT

Now that we’ve officially closed the door on the 2012 regular season following last weekend’s 12th week of play, it’s now all about the postseason. While much of the postseason focus has shifted to the 20 FCS Playoffs teams, including our three CAA Football squads getting set to compete these next couple of weeks, we also now have an opportunity to focus on our numerous league players who have been named as finalists for various national awards.

A list of the league’s candidates for The Sports Network’s four national awards can be found below. As is the case every year, CAA Football is again well represented on each the lists. We’ll have more on our national award finalists on CAAFootball.com in the coming days, but for now here’s our quick look at the awards lists.

2012 Eddie Robinson Award (honoring FCS Football’s coach of the year)

  • Danny Rocco (Richmond) – The Spiders reversed a 3-8 record last year with an 8-3 season and a share of the CAA Football title under their first-year coach. Included in the five-win improvement were conference wins over Delaware, James Madison and Villanova.
  • Andy Talley (Villanova) – The 1997 Eddie Robinson Award winner turned around a 2-9 squad from 2011 with an 8-3 regular season, which included a share of the CAA Football title and an automatic qualifying bid to the FCS playoffs. The Wildcats’ six-win improvement in the regular season was the nation’s best.

2012 Walter Payton Award (honoring FCS Football’s most outstanding player)

  • Taylor Heinicke – Old Dominion sophomore QB (11 games: 335-of-491, 4,158 yards, 35 TD, 13 INT; 111 carries, 377 yards, 8 TD)
  • Terrance West – Towson sophomore RB (10 games: 195 carries, 1,046 yards, 14 TD; 5 receptions, 102 yards, 1 TD)

2012 Buck Buchanan Award (honoring FCS Football’s most outstanding defensive player)

  • Matt Evans – New Hampshire senior LB (11 games: 115 TT, 77 Solo, 8.5 TFL, 3 SK, 2 PBU)
  • Stephon Robertson – James Madison junior LB (11 games: 101 TT, 48 Solo, 8.5 TFL, 1 SK, 1 INT, 5 PBU, 1 FF)
  • Cooper Taylor – Richmond senior safety (10 games: 77 TT, 44 Solo, 5 TFL, 1.5 SK, 4 INT, 9 PBU, 4 QBH, 3 FF, 1 TD)
  • B.W. Webb – William and Mary senior CB (11 games: 46 TT, 32 Solo, 1 TFL, 8 PBU, 2 FR, 1 FF, 1 TD, 304 return yards)

2012 Jerry Rice Award (honoring FCS Football’s freshman of the year)

  • Luke Rhodes – William and Mary redshirt freshman LB (11 games: 72 tackles (31 solo) – 6.4 tpg, 4 TFL, 3 PBU, 1 QBH, 1 FF)
  • John Robertson – Villanova redshirt freshman QB (11 games: 174 carries, 936 yards, 13 TD; 137-of-222, 1,830 yards, 14 TD, 5 INT, 147.26 passing efficiency; 251.5 ypg of total offense)
  • Jeff Williams – Delaware redshirt freshman LB (10 games: 61 tackles (36 solo) – 6.1 tpg, 14 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 3 PBU, 1 FR, 1 FF)