Coastal’s Ross, Henderson up for national player honor

ccufoot-4and31Coastal Carolina quarterback Alex Ross and running back De’Angelo Henderson are two of 32 players the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) 2015 FCS National Performer of the Year Trophy Watch List.

The 2015 FCS National Performer of the Year Trophy is a 22-inch K-9 optic crystal trophy with 8-inch crystal football on top. All FCS players are eligible for the award. The award winner will be announced January 13, 2016.

Ross and Henderson join Illinois State quarterback Tre Roberson and running back Marshaun Coprich as the only teammates to make the initial list. Other players of note to appear on the list include Big South quarterbacks Austin Brown (Charleston Southern) and Josh Woodrum (Liberty) and Western Illinois quarterback Trenton Norvell.

Ross is the reigning Big South Offensive Player of the Year and runner-up to teammate Quinn Backus for the 2014-15 Big South Bagwell Male Athlete of the Year. Ross, who finished seventh in last year’s Walter Payton Award voting, is also on the STATS FCS National Offensive Player of the Year watch list.

The Alpharetta, Ga., native and Buford High School product has been under center in seven of CCU’s 10-most prolific games for total offense and is 25-5 as CCU’s starting quarterback with two losses coming in season-ending setbacks to eventual national champions North Dakota State in the 2013 and 2014 FCS quarterfinals, one at then #16 Charleston Southern in 2013, one at then #11 South Carolina in 2013 and one to Liberty in 2014.

Last season, Ross set conference and school single season records for passing yards (3,389), completions (271) and total offense (4,080) while having 691 rushing yards – second-most in a season by a Big South quarterback – and seven games with at least 300 yards of total offense – second only to CCU’s Tyler Thigpen on the Big South’s list.

Ross is on pace to become the Big South’s all-time leader in passing yards (fifth currently), rushing yards by a quarterback (fourth currently) and total offense (second currently). He already owns the Coastal Carolina all-time mark for completions (529), passing yards (6,909), total offense (8,264) and TD responsibility (67) while ranking 10th on the CCU all-time rushing list, ranking sixth on the CCU all-time rushing TDs list (16), needing just 51 pass attempts to set the CCU mark and needing just three touchdown passes to become the school’s all-time leader.

Henderson was named first team All-Big South last season after leading the league in five categories, while also ranking among the NCAA FCS leaders in rushing yards (18th with 109.6 ypg), rushing yards (ninth with 1,534), yards per rush (seventh with 6.56), rushing touchdowns (seventh with 20) and scoring (11th with 9.0 ppg). He additionally ranked second in the Big South and 31st nationally in all-purpose yards per game (130.21) as he had 33 receptions for 289 yards with a game-winning touchdown catch in overtime at Furman.

Henderson’s 1,534 rushing yards rank second on the CCU and fourth on the Big South single-season lists while his 20 rushing TDs in a season are second on the school and third on the league’s charts. Henderson scored at least one touchdown in each of Coastal’s 14 games last season while he cracked the 100-yard barrier in nine contests – second-best season total in Big South history – including a 143-yard output in the FCS quarterfinal at North Dakota State versus a Bison defense that only allowed 125.4 rushing yards per game in 2014. In just 29 career games, Henderson ranks third on the CCU all-time rushing list with 2,133 yards and third on the career rushing TDs list with 26, while owning the CCU career records for most 100-yard rushing games with 10 and most rushing yards per attempt, currently at 6.75.

Photo courtesy of BSC

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