Winning quartet nominated to Offensive Watch List
(STATS) - The statistics of any great player stand out, but the category in which he truly makes his mark is in the win column.
Wednesday's nominees to the STATS Offensive Player of the Year Watch List are prime examples.
Joe Haeg, North Dakota State, LT, R-Sr., 6-6, 310, Lake Shore, Minnesota=
Haeg is expected to give the NDSU offensive line an NFL Draft choice for the third straight year. He was honored as the national offensive lineman of the year as a junior and has continued to pave the way for the Bison offense this season. Lauded for being highly coachable, the four-year starter has quick hands and feet with strong technique. Most important to him, however, is the fact the Bison have won the national title every year he's been in their program. He is the first lineman on the FCS Offensive Player of the Year Watch List since Villanova's Ben Ijalana in 2010.
Scott Hosch, Harvard, QB, Sr., 6-3, 205, Sugar Hill, Georgia=
The unbeaten Crimson's thrilling win over Dartmouth on Halloween weekend underscored how Hosch finds a way to win games. He is 13-0 as a starter over the last two seasons, setting the school record for the most consecutive wins by a quarterback to begin his career. Hosch has improved his decision-making skills to deliver a banner season. He ranks third in the Ivy League in passing yards per game (276.7) and has thrown for 14 touchdowns and only three interceptions. He passed for 437 yards - the third-highest total in program history - against Princeton and then led the fourth-quarter rally against Dartmouth for the Crimson's FCS-high 21st straight victory.
William & Mary has taken its play to a higher level this season despite 2014 All-CAA first-team running back Mikal Abdul-Saboor being slowed by an ankle injury. Anderson has taken on a larger role and run with it in a breakout season, including six straight 100-yard rushing performances. He ranks fourth in the FCS in rushing yards per game (129.3) and fifth in total rushing yards (1,034), and he has scored 11 touchdowns on the ground. His tough running style will flatten would-be tacklers. On 160 carries, he has lost only 12 yards.
Johnathan Williams, Grambling State, QB, Sr., 5-11, 185, Tampa, Florida=
Grambling State's resurgence the last two seasons has a lot to do with Williams taking command of the offense as a dual-threat quarterback. The Tigers are in first place in the SWAC's West Division with an inside track to reaching the conference championship game. He ranks second in the FCS in touchdown passes (26), and third in the SWAC in passing yards per game (262.8) and total offensive yards per game (294.6). Helping those averages was a big win over Prairie View A&M in which Williams passed for 429 yards and six touchdowns.
Other players on the STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year Watch List are quarterbacks Kade Bell of Jacksonville, Jacob Huesman of Chattanooga, Eli Jenkins of Jacksonville State, Troy Mitchell of Western Carolina, Dakota Prukop of Montana State, Tre Roberson of Illinois State, Alex Ross of Coastal Carolina, Jordan West of Eastern Washington and Dalyn Williams of Dartmouth; running backs Tarik Cohen of North Carolina A&T, Marshaun Coprich of Illinois State, Khairi Dickson of Saint Francis, Chase Edmonds of Fordham, Kade Harrington of Lamar, Johnta' Hebert of Prairie View A&M, De'Angelo Henderson of Coastal Carolina and Darius Victor of Towson; and wide receivers Tyler Dube of Sacred Heart, Cooper Kupp of Eastern Washington, Darrin Peterson of Liberty and Jake Wieneke of South Dakota State.
The Watch List can undergo revision during the 2015 season. A national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will vote on the award after the regular season.