Nov 28, 2012 5:20 PM by Andrew Masuda

Mustangs' Williams finishes 16th in FCS Player of the Year voting

Cal Poly senior slot back Deonte Williams finished 16th in the voting for the Walter Payton Award, which is essentially the Heisman Trophy of the Football Championship Subdivision.

A national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters and writers voted on the award presented to the outstanding player in the FCS. In all, 145 ballots were turned in. Twenty players were named finalists for the award.

Williams received two 2nd place votes, three 4th place votes and eight 5th place votes for a total of 22 points. Deonte edged fellow Big Sky finalist Northern Arizona's Zach Bauman, who finished 17th with 19 points. Montana State's DeNarius McGhee finished 9th with 87 points, while Southern Utah quarterback Brad Sorensen came in 15th with 24 points.

Wofford fullback Eric Breitenstein, Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet and Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke were the top three vote getters. They were invited to the December 17 awards banquet, where the winner will be announced.

Williams leads the Big Sky Conference and ranks 7th in the FCS with 1,458 rushing yards. He's averaging 6.7 yards per carry and 132.6 rushing yards per game. Williams ran for 12 touchdowns and set a Cal Poly single-season record with 10 games of 100+ rushing yards. He needs 121 yards to surpass James Noble's single season rushing yardage mark set in 2005. Williams was named to the All-Conference First Team Offense.

Williams was the first finalist for the award from Cal Poly since Ramses Barden in 2008.

The Mustangs will make the program's third appearance in the FCS playoffs on Saturday when they travel to 5th ranked Sam Houston State. Kickoff in Huntsville, Texas is set for 1pm California time.



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