Sophomore from Old Dominion clenches Walter Payton Award

By: Tucker Harrington

Sophomore quarterback Taylor Heinicke was recently named the recipient of this year’s Walter Payton Award, making him the second person in this grade to achieve such success. Fox News reports despite the fact that Old Dominion’s football team jumped to success when he started playing, Heinicke himself believes it’s always been a team effort.

Heinicke told the news source his team was playing for the seniors who started the program’s success when they were freshmen. He believes they ended up doing so well based on everyone’s dedication to helping the seniors thrive.

“People kept working that much harder for the seniors,” Heinicke told the publication. “They came here based on a pamphlet and something that could have happened, and it did.”

The quarterback’s success was partly to thank for the team’s 10-1 season as he passed for 4,158 yards, had 35 touchdown passes and rushed for 377 yards, with eight personal touchdowns. Heinicke admitted he’s excited he was able to earn one of these prominent recognition awards.

“It’s huge, very humbling. It’s the Heisman of the FCS. That’s a huge honor, very humbling and I’m very excited about it,” he told the news source. “I can’t thank enough of my family, my coaches, my trainer back home. All this hard work is really paying off.”

Former Georgia Southern running back Adrian Peterson is the only other sophomore to receive this award, The Associated Press reports.