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‘Tis the Awards Season

Dec 6, 2012, 5:02 PM EDT

While the recent warm weather along the Eastern Seaboard might suggest otherwise, December has officially arrived. ‘Tis the season for last-minute holiday shopping, awkward Christmas cards, tacky light tours and Planes, Trains & Automobiles-like travel schedules… Ever slept overnight in an airport only to arrive home to lost luggage? The things we do to get home for the holidays, right?

And what would the holiday season be without football because ’tis also the season for FCS postseason awards. With various organizations beginning to roll out their postseason accolades, and numerous CAA Football coaches and players racking up the honors, I felt like it was high time to catch all of you CAA Football fans up to speed on our latest honorees. I’ll continue to do this in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

In addition to New Hampshire’s Matt Evans and James Madison’s Earl Watford being named to the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-America Team on Wednesday, the season is especially bright if you’re a Taylor, as Richmond’s Cooper Taylor was selected as a First Team Academic All-American and Old Dominion’s Taylor Heinicke became just the third FCS player in history to win the Touchdown Club of Richmond’s Dudley Award given to the state’s top Division I football player.

And now for the rest of the list…

  • CAA Football landed 11 players on the College Sports Madness All-America Teams, including Watford, Taylor, Maine’s Chris Howley and JMU’s Stephon Robertson on the First Team; Evans, Towson’s Monte Gaddis, Villanova’s Eric Loper and ODU’s Nick Mayers and Jack Lowney on the Second Team; and Georgia State’s Matt Hubbard and Towson’s Terrance West on the Third Team.
  • Heinicke (Offensive Back), Taylor (Defensive Back), Richmond’s Ben Edwards (End/Wide Receiver) and William and Mary’s B.W. Webb were all named Virginia’s Division I Players of the Year for their respective positions by the Touchdown Club of Richmond.
  • Webb was also selected to play in the 2013 Senior Bowl to be held on Jan. 26 in Mobile, Ala.
  • New Hampshire’s Matt Evans, R.J. Harris, Seamus O’Neill, Dontra Peters and Jared Smith were selected to the 28-member New England Football Writers Division I FCS All-New England Team.
  • Rhode Island’s Brandon Johnson-Farrell joined UNH’s Harris as one of three wide receivers named to the aforementioned All-New England Team.
  • UNH head coach Sean McDonnell was designated as one of the nation’s five AFCA Regional Coaches of the Year for the third time in his career after leading the Wildcats to a share of the CAA Football title and the program’s ninth-consecutive FCS Playoffs berth.
  • McDonnell was also honored as the Division I FCS Coach of the Year by the New England Football Writers.
  • Richmond’s Danny Rocco was voted as one of five finalists for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award. Voting continues here.

Let’s not forget CAA Football’s representation on the list of finalists for The Sports Network’s four FCS national awards. Heinicke is one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Award (top player); UR’s Danny Rocco and Nova’s Andy Talley are up for the Eddie Robinson Award (top coach); Evans, Robertson, Taylor and Webb are finalists for the Buck Buchanan Award; and W&M’s Luke Rhodes, Nova’s John Robertson and Delaware’s Jeff Williams are finalists for the Jerry Rice Award (top freshman).