Quarterbacks Max Brosmer of New Hampshire and Mark Gronowski of South Dakota State and running back Jaden Shirden of Monmouth have been invited to the announcement of the 2023 Walter Payton Award, which honors the national offensive player of the year in Division I FCS college football and is presented by FedEx Ground.

The trio of standout players were among 30 finalists for the 37th annual Payton, which is named for legendary running back Walter Payton, who starred at Jackson State as part of his Hall of Fame career. The winner, selected by a national voting panel after the regular season, will be announced at the Stats Perform FCS National Awards Banquet on Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas – the eve of the national championship game.


Brosmer, from Roswell, Georgia, was selected as the CAA Football first-team quarterback after ranking No. 1 in the FCS in passing yards (3,464), passing yards per game (314.9) and total offensive yards per game (326.4), and No. 2 in touchdown passes (29). The 6-foot-2, 221-pound senior completed 294 of 459 attempts (64.1 percent), including 30 or more passes to six different receivers – the most in the FCS – against only five interceptions.

Gronowski, from Naperville, Illinois, has helped South Dakota State maintain the No. 1 ranking following its 2022 national championship season, named the Missouri Valley Football Conference co-offensive player of the year. While leading the FCS in pass efficiency (184.1) during the regular season, the 6-3, 225-pound junior passed for 2,359 yards and 23 touchdowns against three interceptions, rushing for seven more scores. He passed for 158 yards and a TD in a playoff win over Mercer this past Saturday.

Shirden, from West Haven, Connecticut, repeated as CAA offensive player of the year after leading the FCS in rushing yards (1,478) and per-game average (134.4) for the second consecutive season. Four of the 5-9, 195-pound junior’s 10 touchdown runs went for over 60 yards, and he added one more score on his 20 receptions. He also was invited to the national awards banquet following the 2022 season, finishing third in the Payton voting.

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.  

Like the Payton Award, the winners of the Buck Buchanan Award (FCS defensive player of the year), Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman player of the year), Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year) and FedEx Ground Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award will be honored at the national awards banquet.

2023 Walter Payton Award 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, 2, 3. TBA on Jan. 6, between QBs Max Brosmer (New Hampshire) and Mark Gronowski (South Dakota State) and RB Jaden Shirden (Monmouth)

4. Matthew Sluka, QB, Holy Cross: 8-3-4-1-5-71

5. Davius Richard, QB, North Carolina Central: 2-7-3-4-2-57

6. Dylan Laube, RB, New Hampshire: 2-4-3-4-2-45

7. Isaiah Davis, RB, South Dakota State: 6-0-0-3-4-40

8.(tie) CJ Montes, QB, Fordham: 3-2-1-5-1-37

8.(tie) Mike DiLiello, QB, Austin Peay: 3-3-2-1-2-37

10. Jalen Coker, WR, Holy Cross: 1-3-1-4-4-32

11. Cam Miller, QB, North Dakota State: 0-2-6-1-1-29

12.(tie) Dymere Miller, WR, Monmouth: 1-1-4-0-3-24

12.(tie) Reese Poffenbarger, QB, UAlbany: 0-2-2-4-2-24

14. Lan Larison, RB, UC Davis: 0-0-4-3-2-20

15. Chedon James, WR, Idaho State: 0-2-2-1-3-19

16. Jamar Curtis, RB, Lafayette: 0-3-1-1-1-18

17. Cole Gonzales, QB, Western Carolina: 0-2-0-2-1-13

18.(tie) Gevani McCoy, QB, Idaho: 0-0-1-3-1-10

18.(tie) LaDarius Owens, RB, Texas Southern: 0-0-2-2-0-10

20. Sam Franklin, RB, UT Martin: 0-0-0-3-2-8

21.(tie) Michael Hiers, QB, Samford: 0-1-0-1-1-7

21.(tie) Ty James, WR, Mercer: 0-0-1-1-2-7

23. Zevi Eckhaus, QB, Bryant: 0-0-1-0-1-4

24.(tie) Hayden Hatten, WR, Idaho: 0-0-0-1-0-2

24.(tie) Jyran Mitchell, RB, Butler: 0-0-0-0-2-2

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

27. Brandon Porter, WR, UIW: 0-0-0-0-1-1

28.(tie) Darius Perrantes, QB, Duquesne: 0-0-0-0-0-0

28.(tie) Jake Wilcox, QB, Brown: 0-0-0-0-0-0

28.(tie) Jeremy Moussa, QB, Florida A&M: 0-0-0-0-0-0