When people say “numbers never lie,” they might be referencing UIW quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr., who this season posted some of the biggest passing statistics in FCS history.

Scott helped UIW reach the national semifinals for the first time. Although his team fell one win shy of playing in the national championship game, the redshirt senior made the trip to Frisco, Texas, where Saturday night he received the 2022 Stats Perform Walter Payton Award, which honors the offensive player of the year in college football’s Division I subdivision.

Fordham fifth-year senior quarterback Tim DeMorat, who slightly outgained Scott for the FCS high in passing yards, finished second in the voting, while Monmouth sophomore running back Jaden Shirden, the national rushing leader, was third. A 54-member panel selected the 36th annual award, which is named for legendary running back Walter Payton, who starred at Jackson State as part of his Hall of Fame career.

Scott, 24, from Zachary, Louisiana, and a graduate transfer from Nicholls, was named the Southland Conference player of the year, helping coach G.J. Kinne’s Cardinals to a 12-2 season. The 5-foot-11, 212-pounder completed 322 of 454 pass attempts (70.9 percent) for 4,686 yards and an FCS-record 60 touchdowns with just eight interceptions, posting an FCS-high 197.7 passing efficiency. He rushed for 712 yards and 11 touchdowns, lifting his total TDs (pass and run) to 71, also a single-season record.

Among his many marks, Scott became the third player in FCS history to pass for seven touchdowns in one half of a game against Lamar, then did it a second time against Houston Christian.

DeMorat and Shirden joined Scott as first-team All-Americans. DeMorat, from Merritt Island, Florida, passed for 4,891 yards and 56 touchdowns, and rushed for another five scores. Shirden, from West Haven, Connecticut, averaged 8.4 yards per carry while rushing for 1,722 yards and 13 touchdowns.

The Walter Payton Award, first presented in 1987, has a distinguished history of recipients, including Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Brian Westbrook, Jimmy Garoppolo, Cooper Kupp and Trey Lance.  

2022 Walter Payton Award Voting Results

Following is a breakdown of the voting results. A first-place vote was worth five points, a second-place vote four points, a third-place vote three points, a fourth-place vote two points and a fifth-place vote one point. The final number is the combined point total.

1. Lindsey Scott Jr., QB, UIW: 28-10-3-2-2-195

2. Tim DeMorat, QB, Fordham: 16-19-3-2-2-171

3. Jaden Shirden, RB, Monmouth: 1-7-9-7-4-78

4. Michael Hiers, QB, Samford: 3-3-7-8-5-69

5. Geno Hess, RB, Southeast Missouri: 0-3-8-9-7-61

6. Shedeur Sanders, QB, Jackson State: 1-2-8-3-2-45

7. Jaleel McLaughlin, RB, Youngstown State: 3-1-2-2-1-30

8. Cody Mauch, OL, North Dakota State: 0-1-5-2-4-27

9. Joey Hobert, WR, Utah Tech: 0-1-2-1-5-17

10.(tie) Cameron Skattebo, RB, Sacramento State: 0-2-1-2-1-16

10.(tie) Matthew Sluka, QB, Holy Cross: 0-2-1-1-3-16

12.(tie) Hunter Luepke, FB, North Dakota State: 0-0-1-3-2-11

12.(tie) Parker McKinney, QB, Eastern Kentucky: 0-0-2-2-1-11

14.(tie) Devron Harper, WR, Mercer: 0-2-0-1-0-10

14.(tie) Fotis Kokosioulis, WR, Fordham: 1-0-0-2-1-10

14.(tie) Ulonzo Gilliam Jr., RB, UC Davis: 1-0-0-1-3-10

17. ShunDerrick Powell, RB, North Alabama: 0-0-1-1-1-6

18.(tie) Tommy Mellot, QB, Montana State: 0-1-0-0-1-5

18.(tie) Xavier Gipson, WR, Stephen F. Austin: 0-0-0-2-1-5

20.(tie) Bhayshul Tuten, RB, North Carolina A&T: 0-0-0-2-0-4

20.(tie) Xavier Smith, WR, Florida A&M: 0-0-1-0-1-4

22. Reece Udinski, QB, Richmond: 0-0-0-0-3-3

23.(tie) Bailey Fisher, QB, Gardner-Webb: 0-0-0-1-0-2

23.(tie) Davius Richard, QB, North Carolina Central: 0-0-0-0-2-2

25.(tie) Cole Doyle, QB, Saint Francis: 0-0-0-0-1-1

25.(tie) Deonta McMahon, RB, McNeese: 0-0-0-0-1-1

27.(tie) Aidan Borguet, RB, Harvard: 0-0-0-0-0-0

27.(tie) Jake Chisholm, RB, Dayton: 0-0-0-0-0-0

27.(tie) Ailym Ford, RB, Chattanooga: 0-0-0-0-0-0

27.(tie) Andrei Iosivas, WR, Princeton: 0-0-0-0-0-0