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John Robertson named 2014 Walter Payton Award winner

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Villanova quarterback John Robertson is the third player in program history to win the award.

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Villanova junior quarterback, John Robertson, had a stellar season and was rewarded with the 2014 Walter Payton Award for the nation's most outstanding player in Division 1-FCS Football.

With the announcement at tonight's Sports Network FCS Awards Banquet, a Villanovan has won 10.7% of all of the Walter Payton Awards given since it's creation 28 years ago.

With three award winners -- Robertson, Brian Westbrook (2001) and Brian Finneran (1997) -- Villanova players have won the award more times than any other school in FCS football, and at three different positions. Quarterback Brett Gordon was almost another Payton winner for the 'Cats, coming in second in the balloting to current Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo in 2002.

The other two finalists for the trophy were also quarterbacks: Eastern Washington's Vernon Adams and Idaho State's Justin Arias were also invited to the banquet and award presentation. Adams finished second in the voting, coming in 84 points behind Robertson, who had 66 first-place votes.

This was Robertson's second trip to the Sports Network banquet. His last invite came as a freshman in 2012, when he earned the Jerry Rice Award, given to the nation's top FCS freshman. The 6-1, 221-pound dual-threat quarterback has been shredding defenses with his legs throughout his career, but this season, he showed the world that he was able to throw the ball with the best of them as well.

In the regular season, Robertson passed for 2,629 yards and 34 touchdowns with just three interceptions on his record. He added another 978 yards with his legs, despite his rushing efforts being hampered for much of the season due to a broken hand and hip injury. He led the nation in passing efficiency (182.99) and points-responsible-for (260), among other categories.

He helped the Wildcats win 11 of the 13 games he played in, losing just twice by a combined deficit of two points. He won the CAA conference's Offensive Player of the Week Award six times. Their 10-2 record in the regular season earned the 'Cats a number-six seeding in the NCAA Division I (FCS) Football Tournament, where they advanced to the quarterfinals, but lost narrowly, 34-31 to Sam Houston State, with Robertson on the sidelines with a concussion.

The redshirt junior has one final season of eligibility remaining next season. Appalachian State's Armanti Edwards was the only player to win the award twice, taking it home in both 2008 and 2009, winning in a landslide both times as his school dominated FCS football.

The Walter Payton Award is chosen by a panel of 160 voters, consisting of sports information and media relations personnel, broadcasters, writers, and other dignitaries. Voters list their top-five choices on their ballots.