The Top 10 Most Electifying FCS Offensive Players of 2009
While the Walter Payton Award recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of the best offensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision (otherwise known as I-AA), there are plenty of other candidates for the top award in college football's second tier.
Out of the 144 teams in the FCS, the top 10 offense players of 2009 have been identified in this list, ranking them based on statistics, their importance to their respective teams, and individual accolades.
And remember their names, too...you'll probably see a few of them on NFL football fields next season.
10. Matt Szczur (WR/RB - Villanova)
Although Szczur doesn't rank near the top any receiving yards or rushing yards, the intangibles he brought to Villanova's championship offense were priceless.
Named the 2009 FCS Championship's 'Most Outstanding Player,' Szczur is quickly making a name for himself in the CAA with his Kordell Stewart-like play.
Listed as a receiver, Szczur (pronounced 'Caesar'), caught 51 passes for 610 yards and 4 TDs, but his rushing numbers were even better (108 carries, 813 yards, 10 TDs).
Look for Szczur's name on the Walter Payton Award list again next year.
9. Dominic Randolph (QB - Holy Cross)
The four year starter at Holy Cross put up NFL-like numbers...again (3776 yd, 34 TD, 14 Int)...and his production was actually down a bit from a year ago.
Talk about an asset to a team, Randolph finishes his career at HC with over a 60 percent completion rate and 117 TDs to his name.
8. Marc Mariani (WR - Montana)
Mariani followed up a break-out year in 2008 (1308 yards, 15 TDs) with superb numbers this year (1495 yards, 13 TDs).
Teamed with fellow Grizzles offensive stars Chase Reynolds and Andrew Selle (also featured), Mariani was a good possession receiver who always had the potential for a break-out game.
He finished his career with a 9 reception, 178 yard and TD performance in Chattanooga against Villanova in the FCS Championship.
7. Chase Reynolds (RB - Montana)
Speaking of Montana's offense, Chase Reynolds knows how to put his team on his back when it matters.
Racking up 193 yards and 2 TDs in a semifinal come-from-behind win against Appalachian State in the snow, Reynolds was a threat in the backfield as well as the flats all season long for the Griz.
His 1,503 rushing yards and 22 TDs were second most in the FCS this season.
6. Ryan Perrilloux (QB - Jacksonville State)
After transferring from LSU, the man was almost expected to dominate FCS opponents. And that he did, passing for 2,345 yards, 23 TDs and only 2 INT.
Noteably, Perrilloux led the Gamecocks to an 8-3 record with losses coming against Georgia Tech (37-17, but DNP), Flordia State (19-9), and Eastern Illinois (28-20).
5. Andrew Selle (QB - Montana)
Yes, he's the final Montana offensive player I'm adding on the list, but he's legit (finishing with 3,000+ yards passing, 28 TDs and only 6 INTs).
Selle lead the Griz to the National Championship again in his first full year as Montana's starting QB and still has another year of eligibility.
FCS's No. 4 rated passer hopes to make a return to next year's title game with a bear (excuse the pun) of an offense.
4. Deji Karim (RB - Southern Illinois)
The young man can simply run. Owning the top spot for this year's class of running backs, Karim racked up 1,694 yards and 18 TDs on the ground and would've finished higher in this ranking had it not been for struggling in a few keys games this season.
Nevertheless, Karim still racked up the most rushing yards in FCS in 2009 while having four games with fewer than 100 yards on the ground.
3. Matt Nichols (QB - Eastern Washington)
In a pass-heavy offense, Nichols makes a strong case for the most valuable QB in the FCS level.
His 12,616 career passing yards and 95 TDs at Eastern give him video game-like stats. This year alone? 3,830 passing yards, 33 TDs and 6 INTs.
How did Texas Tech and Hawaii miss this guy out of high school?
2. Terrell Hudgins (WR - Elon)
If you don't know the name Terrell Hudgins, get used to it. You'll probably start hearing it a bit on Sundays as Hudgin's college career comes to a close.
He's been arguably the best reciever in FCS for the past three years and with his best yet in 2009 (123 catches, 1633 yards, 16 TDs) he makes a strong case for an NFL team to grab him.
He's one of the best players you've probably never heard of.
1. Armanti Edwards (QB - Appalachian State)
How could you give it to anyone else? Edwards closes his career at App. State with back-to-back Walter Payton Awards, two FCS championship rings, a monumental upset win against then-No. 5 Michigan, and all the accolades that come with making us actually care about FCS football.
Never again will the BCS schools schedule a FCS (I-AA) team for a early season warm-up...not after the upset in Ann Arbor.
Although his passing stats were a bit down from 2008 form, his versatility as a runner and passer were unequaled by anyone the Mountaineers played.