UIW's Scott, Illinois State's Vandenburgh Win Top FCS Honors

January 8, 2023 by Compiled by CollegeFootballPoll.com Staff

At the Stats Perform National Award banquet on Saturday night, University of the Incarnate Word quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr. was crowned the FCS Offensive Player of the Year, winning the Walter Payton Award.   Three student-athletes were invited to the award ceremony on the eve of the FCS National Championship. Two quarterbacks in Scott and Fordham's Tim DeMorat with running back Jaden Shirden from Monmouth rounding out the finalists.   Scott took home the Walter Payton Award following a stellar final season that saw numerous record breaks both in the UIW record book and in FCS records. He finished the season with 71 touchdowns, 60 through the air, and 11 on the ground. He also gained 4,686 yards passing on 454 attempts with a 70.93 percent completion percentage.   During the National Championship on Sunday, Scott will also be recognized as the 2022 FCS ADA Offensive Player of the Year.

Illinois State senior linebacker Zeke Vandenburgh received the 2022 Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in FCS football.

Vandenburgh won the award by receiving 30 first-place votes and had no votes lower than third place for a total of 187. William & Mary redshirt sophomore outside linebacker John Pius finished second in the voting (113) and Central Arkansas sophomore defensive end David Walker third (90) after a 54-member panel selected the 28th annual award – named for legendary defensive lineman Junious "Buck" Buchanan, who starred at Grambling State as part of his Hall of Fame career. 

The 2022 Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Vandenburgh saved some of his best football for last as he posted a career-high 17 tackles, 3.5 sacks and tied a career-best with 4.0 tackles-for-loss in the Redbirds' season finale against Western Illinois. It gave him 100 tackles (51 solos) in a 10-game stat line that also included 21 tackles-for-loss (120 yards) and an FCS-leading 14 sacks. A four-time MVFC Defensive Player of the Week honoree, Vandenburgh was also credited with one interception, four pass breakups, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and four quarterback hurries in 2022. The Freeport, Illinois, native finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the FCS in sacks per game (1.40) and tackles-for-loss per game (2.1).

FCS Walter Payton Award winners (1987-2022):

2022 Lindsey Scott Jr, Incarnate Word Quarterback
2021 Eric Barriere, Eastern Washington Quarterback
2020 Cole Kelley, Southeastern Louisiana Quarterback
2019 Trey Lance, North Dakota State Quarterback
2018 Devlin Hodges, Samford Quarterback
2017 Jeremiah Briscoe, Sam Houston State Quarterback
2016 Jeremiah Briscoe, Sam Houston State Quarterback
2015 Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington Wide receiver
2014 John Robertson, Villanova Quarterback
2013 Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois Quarterback
2012 Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion Quarterback
2011 Bo Levi Mitchell, Eastern Washington Quarterback
2010 Jeremy Moses, Stephen F. Austin Quarterback
2009 Armanti Edwards, Appalachian State Quarterback
2008 Armanti Edwards, Appalachian State Quarterback
2007 Jayson Foster, Georgia Southern Quarterback
2006 Ricky Santos, New Hampshire Quarterback
2005 Erik Meyer, Eastern Washington Quarterback
2004 Lang Campbell, William & Mary Quarterback
2003 Jamaal Branch, Colgate Running back
2002 Tony Romo, Eastern Illinois Quarterback
2001 Brian Westbrook, Villanova Running back
2000 Louis Ivory, Furman Running back
1999 Adrian Peterson, Georgia Southern Running back
1998 Jerry Azumah, New Hampshire Running back
1997 Brian Finneran, Villanova Wide receiver
1996 Archie Amerson, Northern Arizona Running back
1995 Dave Dickenson, Montana Quarterback
1994 Steve McNair, Alcorn State Quarterback
1993 Doug Nussmeier, Idaho Quarterback
1992 Michael Payton, Marshall Quarterback
1991 Jamie Martin, Weber State Quarterback
1990 Walter Dean, Grambling State Running back
1989 John Friesz, Idaho Quarterback
1988 Dave Meggett, Towson Running back
1987 Kenny Gamble, Colgate Running back

FCS Buck Buchanan Award winners (1987-2022):

2022 Zeke Vandenburg, Illinois State Linebacker
2021 Isaiah Land, Florida A&M Linebacker
2020 Jordan Lewis, Southern Defensive End
2019 Dante Olson, Montana Linebacker
2018 Zach Hall, Southeast Missouri State Linebacker
2017 Darius Jackson, Jacksonville State Defensive End
2016 Karter Schult, Northern Iowa Defensive End
2015* Tyrone Holmes, Montana Linebacker
2015 Deon King, Norfolk State Linebacker
2014 Kyle Emanuel, North Dakota State Defensive End
2013 Brad Daly, Montana State Defensive End
2012 Caleb Schreibeis, Montana State Defensive End
2011 Matt Evans, New Hampshire Linebacker
2010 J.C. Sherritt, Eastern Washington Linebacker
2009 Arthur Moats, James Madison Defensive End
2008 Greg Peach, Eastern Washington Defensive End
2007 Kroy Biermann, Montana Defensive End
2006 Kyle Shotwell, Cal Poly Linebacker
2005 Chris Gocong, Cal Poly Defensive End
2004 Jordan Beck, Cal Poly Linebacker
2003 Jared Allen, Idaho State Defensive End
2002 Rashean Mathis, Bethune-Cookman Cornerback
2001 Derrick Lloyd, James Madison Linebacker
2000 Edgerton Hartwell, Western Illinois Linebacker
1999 Al Lucas, Troy State Defensive Tackle
1998 James Milton, Western Illinois Linebacker
1997 Chris McNeil, North Carolina A&T Defensive End
1996 Dexter Coakley, Appalachian State Linebacker
1995 Dexter Coakley, Appalachian State Linebacker