PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Stony Brook running back and 2012 Big South Offensive Player of the Year Miguel Maysonet is one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Award -- the FCS version of the Heisman Trophy, it was announced today by The Sports Network. Maysonet is the first Big South player in League history to be among the three finalists and has been invited to the annual FCS Awards Banquet & Presentation in Philadelphia on Dec. 17. He will be joined by the finalists Taylor Heinicke (Old Dominion) and Eric Breitenstein (Wofford).
The all-time leading rusher in Stony Brook and Big South history, Maysonet has 1,881 yards and 21 rushing touchdowns (23 overall) through 12 games this season. He joins former standout Brock Jackolski as the only players in Conference history to total at least 20 touchdowns in a season.
Maysonet has nine games of at least 100 rushing yards and a League-record three contests of 200 yards, including a career-best 233 yards in a 27-21 win at Coastal Carolina. In the Seawolves two games against FBS opponents this season, Maysonet ran for 158 yards and a touchdown at Syracuse and 220 yards and two scores in a 20-point victory at Army.
In last week's first round playoff win over Villanova, Maysonet totaled 160 yards and two touchdowns. He reached the 5,000-yard mark for his career -- which includes his 385 yards at Hofstra as a freshman -- with a 25-yard gain in the third quarter.
With 119 more yards, he would become the first player since Towson's Tony Vinson to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. In 36 games as a Seawolf, Maysonet has 5,248 all-purpose yards and 53 touchdowns, which is a Stony Brook and Big South record.
Earlier this year, Stony Brook Athletics launched a Payton Award campaign for the Riverhead, N.Y., native. Titled 'Maysonet4Payton', the effort featured the website, www.Maysonet4Payton.com, and a twitter campaign using the hashtag #Maysonet4Payton.
"It shows that we have a great O-line," Maysonet told The Sports Network. "When I'm out there, I'm just trying to do what the coaches ask of me, just do my job out there, gaining yards and doing positive plays for us.
"It's a humbling feeling to be in the running for such a prestigious award. I'm excited. It's definitely going to be a team award no matter who wins it because you can't go out there and do it alone ever."
There were 145 ballots cast in the Walter Payton Award voting. The results for No. 4-20 were as follows:
4. Erik Lora, Eastern Illinois
5. Gavin McCarney, Colgate
6. Casey Brockman, Murray State
7. Zach Zenner, South Dakota State
8. Aaron Mellette, Elon
9. DeNarius McGhee, Montana State
10. Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois
11. Wynrick Smothers, Central Arkansas
12. Shakir Bell, Indiana State
13. Timothy Flanders, Sam Houston State
14. Jamal Jackson, Appalachian State
15. Brad Sorensen, Southern Utah
16. Deonte Williams, Cal Poly
17. Zach Bauman, Northern Arizona
18. Terrance West, Towson
19. Matt Denham, Eastern Kentucky
20. Jamaine Cook, Youngstown State
Release courtesy of The Sports Network