It's All Armanti Edwards wins another Payton Award

By Steve Behr (

Article Published: Dec. 23, 2009 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
It's All Armanti Edwards wins another Payton Award

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Armanti Edwards made more football history on the Football Championship Subdivision level last Thursday when he won the Walter Payton Award for the second straight season. Edwards, a senior from Greenwood, S, C., is the only player to ever receive the award twice. He becomes the second player to receive one of the Sports Network's top two awards since the FCS-Division I-AA level was begun in 1978. That other player was Appalachian State linebacker Dexter Coakley, who won the Buck Buchanan Award in 1994 and in 1995. Coakley was in attendance Thursday night to see Edwards win the award. Just one other Mountaineer - receiver DaVon Fowlkes - has ever been a top-three finalist for the Payton Award. Fowlkes finished third in the balloting in 2004. "It's another great individual achievement," Edwards said. "At the same time, I have to tip my hat to the coaches and my teammates for being supportive." Even though he was appreciative of the award, Edwards said he would trade it for a chance at playing in the FCS championship game Friday night. Edwards won FCS titles in 2006 and 2007. "Of course. Everybody plays to be the last team standing and winning the national championship," Edwards said. "There's no question about it that I'd do it." Edwards won in a landslide, taking 55 of the 125 first-place votes cast. He finished with 431 total points, well in front of runner-up Terrell Hudgins of Elon, who had 16 first-place votes and finished with 268. Deji Karim, a running back from Southern Illinois, was third with 259 votes and 14 first-place votes. Edwards passed for 3,291 yards and ran for another 679 this season. He averaged 330.8 yards in total offense pre game, which is third in the nation. His career totals of 14,753 yards in total offense are second to Steve McNair of Alcorn State, who was the subject of a special tribute done by host The Sports Network. Edwards was also responsible for 30 touchdowns in 2009 and 139 in his career. His coach, Jerry Moore, said Edwards was a special athlete who is also an intelligent person. Edwards, a two-time and current SoCon Offensive Player of the Year, graduated a semester early last Saturday. "Every coach could talk for a long time about their players," Moore said to the crowd assembled at the Chattanooga Marriott. "Armanti has broken 64 records at Appalachian State, so how long do you want me to talk?" Edwards led the Mountaineers to their fifth straight Southern Conference championship this season. Appalachian State finished 11-3 overall and reached the FCS semifinals, but suffered a heart-breaking 24-17 loss to Montana. Moore said that Appalachian State radio announcer David Jackson had one of the better descriptions of Edwards when summing up the quarterback's abilities, saying that Jackson said Edwards has what he called a "Wow factor," which means Edwards can churn out one exciting play after another without warning. "I think David said it best when he put it all together and said 'Wow, what a guy,'" Moore said. "He's just a great person." In the other two awards given out by The Sports Network, James Madison defensive end Arthur Moats won the Buck Buchanan Award and Prairie View coach Henry Frazier III won the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award. Moates led the nation by averaging 2.14 tackles for a loss during 2009. He had 11 sacks, 90 tackles and returned a fumble 68 yards for a touchdown. Appalachian State's Mark LeGree was a finalist for the Buchanan Award. LeGree, a free safety, intercepted seven passes this season, which was fourth in the nation. He has 17 career interceptions, seven short of the ASU record. The player LeGree replaced, Corey Lynch, finished second in the 2007 voting. LeGree finished sixth overall with 145 points. Appalachian State head coach Jerry Moore, who introduced Frazier, was also up for the Eddie Robinson national Coach of the Year Award. Moore won the award in 2006 after leading the Mountaineers to the FCS championship game. Appalachian State beat Massachusetts 28-17 the following night to win its second straight national title. Frazier led Prairie View to a 9-1 record and the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship for the first time since 1964. Prairie View beat Alabama A&M in the SWAC championship game. Prairie View finished 18th in the final TSN poll, the highest ranking in the school's history. In 2008, Frazier led Prairie View to its first nine-win season since 1953 and beat both Grambling and Southern in the same season for the first time in 35 years. Frazier is 25-5 in his last three seasons and 36-27 overall at the school. Frazier won the Robinson Award with 237 points, just two points over J.C. Harper of Stephen F. Austin. 2009 Walter Payton Award Voting Name Points Armanti Edwards Appalachian State 431 Terrell Hudgins Elon 268 Deji Karim Southern Illinois 259 Matt Nichols Eastern Washington 188 Dominic Randolph Holy Cross 174 Ryan Perrilloux Jacksonville State 142 Jeremy Moses Stephen F. Austin 109 William Ford South Carolina State 39 Michael Herrick Northern Arizona 31 Cameron Higgins Weber State 30 Toddrick Penland McNeese State 29 Curtis Pulley Florida A&M 26 Chase Reynolds Montana 24 Bryant Lee Southern 20 Pat Grace Northern Iowa 18 David Sinisi Monmouth 17 Pat Devlin Delaware 16 Andre Roberts The Citadel 13 Trevyn Smith Weber State 12 James Mallory Central Connecticut St. 10 *Matt Szczur Villanova 9 *Eric Ward Richmond 6 *Scott Riddle Elon 3 *Tim Toone Weber State 1 * Write-in votes

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