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Breitenstein Finishes Third In Payton Award Voting PDF Print
Written by Brent Williamson   
Tuesday, 18 December 2012 11:32

On Monday night at the Sports Network Awards dinner in Philadelphia, Wofford fullback Eric Breitenstein finished third in the voting for the 2012 Walter Payton Award. Taylor Heinicke of Old Dominion was named the 26th recipient of the outstanding player honor in the Football Championship Subdivision. He received nearly half of the first-place votes from a national media panel - 72 of 145 - and 531 points to capture the award over Stony Brook senior running back Miguel Maysonet (284 points) and Wofford senior fullback Eric Breitenstein (197).
Heinicke became the ninth straight quarterback to win the Payton Award, named for the former Jackson State and Chicago Bears great. Heinicke set national records this season with 5,076 yards and 398 completions. Along the way, he also set a Division I single-game mark with 730 passing yards, completing 55 of 79 attempts, in a 64-51 win against playoff team New Hampshire.
Previous winners were Bo Levi Mitchell of Eastern Washington in 2011, Jeremy Moses of Stephen F. Austin in 2010, Armanti Edwards of Appalachian State in 2008 and 2009, Jayson Foster of Georgia Southern in 2007, Ricky Santos of New Hampshire in 2006, Eric Meyer of Eastern Washington in 2005 and Lang Campbell of William and Mary in 2004.
The last running back to win the award was Colgate's Jamaal Branch, who set the single-season national record with 2,326 yards in 2003. Breitenstein, a senior from Valle Crucis, North Carolina, was named Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2011 and 2012. He is just the fourth player in conference history to earn the honor in back-to-back seasons. He led the Southern Conference in rushing for the second straight season with 2,035 yards, a school record and the second most in conference history.
He had 19 rushing touchdowns to lead the conference and was second in scoring with 114 points. With 12 games with 100 or more rushing yards this season, Breitenstein set a new Southern Conference mark and his eleven straight games with 100 or more yards tied an NCAA record. He also holds the SoCon single game rushing mark with 321 yards.
Breitenstein was joined at the ceremony by head coach Mike Ayers and six members of the offensive line among others who made the trip from Valle Crucis, North Carolina, and Spartanburg, S.C.
The winners of the Buck Buchanan Award (Montana State's Caleb Schreibeis, FCS outstanding defensive player), Jerry Rice Award (Villanova's John Robertson, FCS freshman of the year) and Eddie Robinson Award (North Dakota State's Craig Bohl, FCS coach of the year) were also honored at the event.
The awards are voted upon by a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries.

 

Walter Payton Award voting

Player, School.................1st....2nd....3rd....4th....5th....Total

1. Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion...72.....29.....13......6......4.....531

2. Miguel Maysonet, Stony Brook....13.....25.....20.....21.....17.....284

3. Eric Breitenstein, Wofford......11.....15.....15.....12.....13.....197

4. Erik Lora, Eastern Illinois......7.....14.....15......7.....14.....164

5. Gavin McCarney, Colgate.........15......9.....10......6......5.....158

6. Casey Brockman, Murray St........8......7......9.....16.....12.....139

7. Zach Zenner, South Dakota St.....4......8.....14.....14.....12.....134

8. Aaron Mellette, Elon.............1......6......9.....11.....10......88

9. DeNarius McGhee, Montana St......3......6......9......7......7......87

10. Jimmy Garoppolo, E. Illinois.....3......5......7.....11......6......84

11. Wynrick Smothers, C. Arkansas....2......4......9......5.....14......77

12. Shakir Bell, Indiana St..........1......5......5......8......1......57

13. Timothy Flanders, Sam Houston St.2......4......4......3......5......53

14. Jamal Jackson, Appalachian St....1......1......2......6......6......33

15. Brad Sorensen, Southern Utah.....0......3......1......4......1......24

16. Deonte Williams, Cal Poly........0......2......0......3......8......22

17. Zach Bauman, N. Arizona..........1......2......1......0......3......19

18. Terrance West, Towson ...........0......0......1......3......4......13

19. Matt Denham, E. Kentucky.........0......0......1......2......1.......8

20. Jamaine Cook, Youngstown State...1......0......0......0......2.......7

 

Photo Courtesy: Eric Breitenstein, Wofford College Athletics

 

 

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