FRISCO, Texas – Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges was named the winner of the 2018 Walter Payton Award at the annual FCS Awards Banquet on Friday evening.
The Walter Payton Award is given annually to the top offensive player in all of FCS football. Hodges becomes the first Samford player to win the award. He edged out North Dakota State quarterback Easton Stick and Kennesaw State signal-caller Chandler Burks to win the prestigious honor.
Hodges set a school record for single-season passing yards, throwing for 4,283 yards this season, breaking the old record of 4,088, set by Hodges in 2016. He led the nation in passing yards per game (389.4), total passing yards (4,283) and total offense per game (417.8).
For his career, Hodges became the all-time leader in career passing yards in FCS history. His 14,584 career passing yards broke the old FCS national record of 14,496, set by Steve McNair of Alcorn State from 1991-94. McNair earned the 1994 Walter Payton Award.
In addition to the FCS record for career passing yards, Hodges also set FCS records for career completions and attempts. Hodges has rewritten the Samford record book, as he will leave school owning 23 different school records.
Hodges has also been named to numerous All-America teams since the season ended. This is the second straight season he has finished in the top five for the award, as he came in fourth in the voting last season. Last year’s fourth-place finish was the highest a Samford player had ever finished in the voting until this year.
The Walter Payton Award has been awarded each year since 1987. Hodges is the seventh Southern Conference player to win the award, but the first since Armanti Edwards of Appalachian State won his second straight Payton Award in 2009.
LIST OF SOCON WALTER PAYTON AWARD WINNERS
1992: Michael Payton, Marshall
1999: Adrian Peterson, Georgia Southern
2000: Louis Ivory, Furman
2007: Jayson Foster, Georgia Southern
2008: Armanti Edwards, Appalachian State
2009: Armanti Edwards, Appalachian State
2018: Devlin Hodges, Samford