Big Sky Conference

STATS Announces 2017 FCS Awards Finalists


(STATS) – A national panel of voters on Monday began to select the STATS FCS legacy awards, which honor the players and coach of the year.

The lists of nominees were pared to finalists for the STATS FCS Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year), STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award (FCS defensive player of the year), STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman player of the year) and STATS FCS Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year).

All four awards and the STATS FCS Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be celebrated at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation, scheduled for Jan. 5 in Frisco, Texas, on the eve of the national championship game.

The voting panel consists of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries. Voting is based on the regular season.


Eastern Washington junior quarterback Gage Gubrud is a finalist for the Walter Payton Award/ by Blake Hempstead, for Skyline Sports


(FCS Offensive Player of the Year)

Dominick Bragalone, RB, Jr. – Lehigh; Jeremiah Briscoe, QB, Sr. – Sam Houston State; Chandler Burks, QB, Jr. – Kennesaw State; Taryn Christion, QB, Jr. – South Dakota State; Case Cookus, QB, So. – Northern Arizona; Keelan Doss, WR, Jr. – UC Davis; Dallas Goedert, TE, Sr. – South Dakota State; Gage Gubrud, QB, Jr. – Eastern Washington; Hayden Hildebrand, QB, Sr. – Central Arkansas; Devlin Hodges, QB, Jr. – Samford; Chad Kanoff, QB, Sr. – Princeton; DeVante Kincade, QB, Sr. – Grambling State; Kyle Lauletta, QB, Sr. – Richmond; Anthony Lawrence, QB, Jr. – San Diego; Josh Mack, RB, So. – Maine; Detrez Newsome, RB, Sr. – Western Carolina; Neil O’Connor, WR, Jr. – New Hampshire; Brandon Parker, OT, Sr. – North Carolina A&T; Troy Pelletier, WR, Sr. – Lehigh; Lamar Raynard, QB, Jr. – North Carolina A&T; Bryan Schor, QB, Sr. – James Madison; Chris Streveler, QB, Sr. – South Dakota, QB; Tommy Stuart, QB, Grad – Duquesne; Roc Thomas, RB, Sr. – Jacksonville State; Justin Watson, WR, Sr. – Penn


(FCS Defensive Player of the Year)

Montana junior linebacker Josh Buss is a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award/ by Brooks Nuanez

Andrew Ankrah, DE, Sr. – James Madison; Mike Basile, SS, Sr. – Monmouth; Marlon Bridges, FS, So. – Jacksonville State; Brandon Bryant, LB, Sr. – Lafayette; Josh Buss, LB, Jr. – Montana; De’Arius Christmas, LB, Jr. – Grambling State; Nick DeLuca, LB, Sr. – North Dakota State; Garrett Dolan, LB, Sr. – Houston Baptist; Malik Duncan, CB, Sr. – Saint Francis; Anthony Ellis, DE, Sr. – Charleston Southern; Jared Farley, LB, Sr. – Northern Iowa; Ahmad Gooden, DE, Jr. – Samford; P.J. Hall, DL, Sr. – Sam Houston State; Davontae Harris, CB, Sr. – Illinois State; Darius Jackson, DE, Sr. – Jacksonville State; Mario Jenkins, LB, Sr. – Idaho State; Darius Leonard, LB, Sr. – South Carolina State; Warren Messer, LB, Jr. – Elon; Matthew Oplinger, OLB, Sr. – Yale; Jonathan Peterson, DE, Sr. – San Diego; Christian Rozeboom, LB, So. – South Dakota State; Tremon Smith, CB, Sr. – Central Arkansas; Brett Taylor, LB, Sr. – Western Illinois; Sione Teuhema, LB, Sr. – Southeastern Louisiana; Jaison Williams, DE, So. – Austin Peay


(FCS Freshman Player of the Year)

Montana redshirt freshman Gresch Jensen/by Jason Bacj

Troy Anderson, RB/LB – Montana State; Bryson Armstrong, LB – Kennesaw State; Grant Breneman, QB – Colgate; Davis Cheek, QB – Elon; Jabril Cox, LB – North Dakota State; Kierre Crossley, RB – Central Arkansas; Glenn Cunningham, LB – Fordham; Zane Dudek, RB – Yale; Wesley Dugger, RB – Davidson; Reynard Ellis, LB – Furman; Jaron Grayer, LB – Maine; Pete Guerriero, RB – Monmouth; Gresch Jensen, QB – Montana; Anthony Knighton, DE – Southern Illinois; Torrance Marable, RB – Presbyterian; Franklin “Mac” McCain III, CB – North Carolina A&T; Caylin Newton, QB – Howard; Kaelan Riley, QB – Mercer, QB; Vincent Sellers, S – Tennessee State; Daniel Smith, QB – Campbell


(FCS Coach of the Year)

Mike Ayers, Wofford; Al Bagnoli, Columbia; Brian Bohannon, Kennesaw State; Rod Broadway, North Carolina A&T; Kevin Callahan, Monmouth; Dave Cecchini, Valparaiso; Curt Cignetti, Elon; Charlie Fisher, Western Illinois; John Grass, Jacksonville State; Will Healy, Austin Peay; Mike Houston, James Madison; Dan Hunt, Colgate; Chris Klieman, North Dakota State; Mike London, Howard; Fred McNair, Alcorn State; Tim Rebowe, Nicholls; Pete Rossomando, Central Connecticut State; Demario Warren, Southern Utah

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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