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The Buchanan Award goes back to 1995 and includes such notable alums as Dexter Coakley and Jared Allen, while the Rice Award was created in 2011.“Coming from an FCS school, I’m proud to lend my name to such a distinction, and to help STATS expand its national coverage initiative,” said Rice, a Mississippi Valley State graduate who is almost universally recognized as the greatest wide receiver of all time and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2010.Since then, names of future NFL stars like Steve Mc Nair, Brian Westbrook and Tony Romo have been called up to accept the hardware.Last season, Cooper Kupp – who became the FCS’ all-time leader in receiving yards and touchdowns this season – was the winner. “I’ve always considered the storylines of the FCS to be just as important as the rest of Division I college football,” said Charles.Prior to last season, STATS expanded an initiative to serve the FCS community with staples such as a pre- and postseason All-America team, weekly Top 25 poll, national players of the week, award watch lists and season-ending awards.
Those awards join the STATS FCS Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete Award, created one year ago to honor the wife of Eddie Robinson and her service to community and academics.
These awards will be presented to the winning athletes during the end-of-season banquet that will take place Friday, Jan.
6, 2017 – the night before the FCS championship game in Frisco, Texas – at the Embassy Suites Dallas-Frisco Convention Center.
Last January, almost 200 attendees representing a cross-section of FCS roles came together for STATS’ inaugural awards ceremony.
“And lacking a Heisman of their own, what better choice than in the name of a football legend, Walter Payton?
I am pleased to pass on three decades’ worth of history to STATS for custodianship and expansion at this time.” The same national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers, and other dignitaries who select the STATS FCS Top 25 poll – numbering over 150 voters – will choose the winners.