Nova QB tapped as top FCS player

PHILADELPHIA -- Villanova Wildcats quarterback John Robertson won the Walter Payton Award on Monday night as the best player in the Football Championship Subdivision.

"I have never been a part of a team that played with so much passion," said Robertson, a junior from Paramus, New Jersey. "I cannot say enough about my teammates and about my offensive line, running backs and receivers. They are the ones who got me this award."

The other finalists were Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., who was the runner-up for the Payton for the second straight season, and Idaho State quarterback Justin Arias.

Robertson passed for 2,846 yards and 35 touchdowns, with three interceptions, and ran for 1,078 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. He led Villanova to a first-round bye in the FCS playoffs.

The Wildcats lost 34-31 in the quarterfinals to Sam Houston State last week without Robertson, who missed the game with a concussion.

"This is a tremendous night for our university and a fantastic honor for our football program," Wildcats coach Andy Talley said. "You could not meet a more All-American guy than John Robertson. He is a tremendous student and he is extremely humble."

North Dakota State defensive end Kyle Emanuel won the Buck Buchanan Award as the best defensive player in FCS. Villanova linebacker Don Cherry was the runner-up.