University of Delaware Sophomore Andrew Pierce Finishes 16th in Walter Payton Award Voting
December 1, 2011
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
PHILADELPHIA -- University of Delaware sophomore running back Andrew Pierce (at right), who once again ranked among the national leaders in rushing in 2011, has finished 16th in voting for the Walter Payton Award.
The Walter Payton Award is sponsored by Fathead.com and The Sports Network and is presented to the top offensive player in the nation at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. The award is selected by a vote of FCS member sports information directors and media members who cover those teams. The award is named in honor of the former Chicago Bears Hall of Famer who starred in college at FCS member Jackson State.
Pierce, a running back from Bridgeton, N.J. (Cumberland Regional High School), was one of five Colonial Athletic Association players to finish in the Top 25 in the voting, joining William & Mary running back Jonathan Grimes, Towson running back Terrance West, New Hampshire quarterback Kevin Decker, and Richmond wide receiver Tre Gray.
Pierce received 13 total points in the balloting, earning one first place vote, one third place vote, one fourth place vote, and three fifth place votes.
Eastern Washington quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, Lehigh quarterback Chris Lum, and Indiana State running back Shakir Bell were announced as the three finalists for the award, which will be presented at the annual FCS Awards Dinner on Jan. 6 in Frisco, Tex. The ceremony is held as part of the NCAA Division I FCS national championship game to be played Jan. 7.
Pierce put together another outstanding season in 2011 as he started all 11 games and rushed 279 times for 1,279 yards and 16 touchdowns, ranking among the national leaders in each category.
A second team All-Colonial Athletic Association selection, he averaged 4.6 yards per game and 116.3 yards per game and also caught 42 passes for 212 yards. His best effort of the season came in an early November victory over Richmond as he rushed for a career-high 215 yards.
In just two seasons at Delaware, Pierce has rushed for 2,934 yards and 30 touchdowns while catching 74 passes for 411 yards and three scores. His 2,934 yards ranks him No. 4 on the Delaware career list.
As a true freshman in 2010, Pierce put together one of the finest season ever for a rookie in FCS history. He earned All-American honors by both The Sports Network and by the College Sporting News, was named the national Freshman of the Year by both Phil Steele College Football Magazine and by the College Sporting News, and earned first team All-CAA, CAA Offensive Rookie of the Year, and ECAC All-East Freshman of the Year honors.
He rushed 329 times for UD freshman record 1,655 yards and 14 touchdowns while catching 32 passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns. He ranked 15th in the nation in rushing yards per game and reached 1,000 yards in a career faster than any player in Delaware history.
The Blue Hens, led by 10th-year head coach K.C. Keeler, posted a 7-4 record this past fall, narrowly missing a berth in the NCAA FCS Tournament.