'Nominations' for 2019 FCS Awards
By CRAIG HALEY
(STATS) - Hey, Oscar. Hey, Grammy. Hey, countless country music awards.
It feels like awards season for seemingly everything but football.
But the appetite is whet for some FCS college football. Spring football will do that, if not the AAF.
Here are the early nominations for FCS awards in the 2019 season (OK, it's just one writer's unofficial list):
The Bison (best team) - North Dakota State, the program this award is named after (sorry, Bucknell and Howard), is the odds-on favorite, but the Fargodome door is ajar to Eastern Washington, Maine, James Madison, South Dakota State and UC Davis.
The Rivalry (best matchup) - Eastern Washington at Jacksonville State (Sept. 14); UC Davis at North Dakota State (Sept. 21); Towson at James Madison (Oct. 26); North Dakota State at South Dakota State (Oct. 26); Furman at Wofford (Nov. 16); and Montana at Montana State (Nov. 23)
The Payton (outstanding offensive player) - Western Carolina quarterback Tyrie Adams; Jacksonville State quarterback Zerrick Cooper; Towson quarterback Tom Flacco; Duquesne running back A.J. Hines; UC Davis quarterback Jake Maier; and Illinois State running back James Robinson
The Buchanan (outstanding defensive player) - Southeast Missouri senior linebacker Zach Hall is seeking to become the second two-time winner of the award, but the competition is fierce with North Dakota State linebacker Jabril Cox, Montana linebacker Dante Olson, Nicholls defensive lineman Sully Laiche, South Dakota State linebacker Christian Rozeboom and Maine cornerback Manny Patterson.
The Robinson (outstanding coach) - The FBS scooped up some good ones in Will Healy, Mike Houston and Chris Klieman, but there are still the likes of Eastern Washington's Aaron Best, Kennesaw State's Brian Bohannon, Jacksonville State's John Grass, UC Davis' Dan Hawkins (the 2018 Robinson winner), San Diego's Dale Lindsey and South Dakota State's John Stiegelmeier.
The Comeback (most improved) - New Hampshire; Northern Arizona quarterback Case Cookus; James Madison cornerback Rashad Robinson; Sam Houston State; Yale running back Zane Dudek; and Youngstown State
The Show Me The Money (best NFL prospect) - Jacksonville State free safety Marlon Bridges; Idaho offensive guard Noah Johnson; Montana inside linebacker Dante Olson; Jacksonville State wide receiver Josh Pearson; and South Dakota State linebacker Christian Rozeboom and place-kicker Chase Vinatieri
Updated February 22, 2019