PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- (www.FCSAwards.com) – The final vote counts are in and the 29th winner of The Walter Payton Award for this year's outstanding player in the FCS is Cooper Kupp of Eastern Washington State. Generally acknowledged as The Heisman of the FCS Division, the Payton Award is recognized as, arguably, the second most prestigious prize in NCAA football. Cooper Kupp's impressive statistics speak for themselves as one of the highlighted and underlying reasons for bestowing this honor upon him.
While only a junior, Kupp still has a year to hone his skills and has not provided any indication that he plans to leave for a future in the NFL.
The Eddie Robinson Award for the outstanding coach in the FCS, voted upon by his contemporaries, goes to Joe Moglia of Coastal Carolina University. The Robinson award itself is given in the name of one of the true legends and admired coaches of decades past. His record, until his semi-retirement and ultimate passing, was unsurpassed in FCS football and, it can be argued, all of collegiate football.
As was the case with Eddie Robinson during his tenure as head coach at Grambling, Joe Moglia always extended the learning curve of his athletes beyond the X's and O's of the team's playbook. Simply stated, while winning was always important so was life with and without football. His being the honoree here reflects the deserved approach by Moglia to football and how one becomes a better person off the field.
"Buck" Buchanan was a mountain of a man and played the game with the sort of intensity and a team approach that set a standard, a goal, moving the bar higher for all wearing the uniform of a boy, or man, competing in college or the NFL. And then, suddenly, he was taken from us by lung cancer that was more severe than any of the combatants he had encountered on the gridiron. But, while with us, "Buck" Buchanan was a giant of a human being both on the field and away from it. He set the standard for defensive players in the NFL and being accorded an award in his name is a cherished achievement, one treasured by his wife, Georgia, a marvel in her own right...
That honor, The 2015 Buchanan Award, goes to Deon King from Norfolk State University, and his outstanding statistics are testament to his deserving of this recognition and prominence accompanied by an undisguised "Wow!"
He is considered by many as possibly the best to ever don a uniform in the NFL. Even a more inclusive acknowledgment as "one of the best" places Jerry Rice among the elite of the game. So, what better name to have for an award to recognize the outstanding freshman in the FCS than that of Jerry Rice who has achieved status as a living legend? The player within the FCS that is the acceptor of the Jerry Rice Award is Case Cookus of Northern Arizona University, an athlete with outstanding achievements in his first year at the collegiate level. Promise has been shown, and acknowledged, the goals are in place and a deserving freshman of the Rice Award has been found.
The Mickey Charles Award was first established in 2014. The award is recognition of an FCS player's achievement athletically and academically. The person to whom it is being given this year, standing out from a number of near equally nominees, is Derek Crittenden from the University of Montana. He has a 4.0 GPA as a senior and his major course of study is Philosophy. As a stand-out on two fields of play, the football and classroom, his future bodes well and he is a very deserving choice for this FCS Award. The man that conceived and founded the FCS Awards nearly three decades ago, Mickey Charles, the creation of this award is a tribute to his accomplishments for the FCS. He is a veritable legend within the Sports industry, from humble beginnings in a garage in suburban Philadelphia to, as a recent feature appearing on ESPN pointed out, among other things, his rise to running a global multi-million dollar organization.
Congratulations to the award winners and their families.
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