The 2015 FCS Offensive Player of the Year Watch List is teeming with talent. Nine of the 13 FCS conferences are returning their players of the year, and 12 players who were finalists for the National Player of the Year are back. This much offensive talent will certainly give defensive coordinators major headaches and make the competition for FCS Player of the Year an interesting one.
The Watch List for Offensive POY is headed up by Villanova’s John Robertson, 2014 Walter Peyton Award Winner. The 6’1, 222 pound quarterback is returning to Villanova for his senior season, and is looking to build on last year’s performance, if that’s even possible. Robertson passed for 35 touchdowns against just 3 interceptions, passed the 1000 rushing yards benchmark for the third season in row and added another 11 touchdowns on the ground during the 2014 season.
Despite this success, a concussion sidelined Robertson in December and Villanova was knocked out of the FCS quarterfinals, so he returns this season with some unfinished business with which he will no doubtfully deal.
Although Robertson may be the biggest individual name on the Watch List, there are several All-American, All-Conference and all-talented players returning this season. The 2014 finalists named to the Watch :ist include quarterback Jacob Huesman (Chattanooga), Vad Lee of James Madison, Dakota Prukop (Montana State) and Alex Ross (Coastal Carolina).
Returning running backs include Marshaun Coprich (Illinois State), Khairi Dickson (Saint Francis), Chase Edmonds (Fordham), Connor Kacsor (Dayton), Dy’Shawn Mobley (Eastern Kentucky) and Herb Walker Jr. (Morgan State), as well as Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp.
Newcomers to the Player of the Year Watch List feature quarterbacks John Gibbs Jr. (Alcorn State), Troy Mitchell (Western Carolina), Tre Roberson (llinois State), Carson Wentz (North Dakota State) and Dalyn Williams (Dartmouth); running backs Tarik Cohen (North Carolina A&T), Johnta Hebert (Prairie View A&M) and Darius Victor (Towson); and wide receivers Ed Eagan (Northwestern State) and Darrin Peterson (Liberty).
The accolades of this year’s crop of athletes under consideration are amazing. Robertson will have to compete with the likes of Wentz, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2014 FCS championship game, the 2014 leaders in rushing yards in Coprich and Dickson as well as the top five quarterbacks in passing efficiency.
The list is composed of 10 quarterbacks, nine running backs and three wide receivers. The STATS FCS Player of the Year Watch List will be revised as the 2015 season progresses.
Robertson and Villanova linebacker Don Cherry were also named STATS FCS preseason All-Americans, which will only increase fans’ expectations for the 2015 season. Perhaps a healthy Robertson can even lead the Wildcats to an FCS championship this year.