DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Baker (Kan.) junior quarterback Logan Brettell has been named the 2016 NAIA National Football Player of the Year, announced Friday evening as part of the NAIA Banquet of Champions. The event was held at the Ocean Center, the banquet site for the 61st annual NAIA Football National Championship.
“First of all, this is an incredible honor,” said Brettell. “I can honestly say that I never believed that I’d be standing up here giving this speech. I just wanted all of Baker national to know that this is a huge honor that I’ll remember for the rest of my life, but this is not why we’re here (at the national championship) and not the trophy we came to receive.”
Brettell is the first player in Baker and Heart of America Athletic Conference history to win the award, which was established in 1997. He is the third-straight quarterback to claim the honor.
The Overland Park, Kan., native has led the Wildcats to a program-best 14-0 season, including the club’s second-straight Heart of America Athletic Conference South Division title and its first appearance in the national final since 1986.
Brettell, who earlier this week was named an AFCA-NAIA First Team All-America selection, leads the NAIA in total offense (5,092) and total passing (4,810). The junior threw for more than 300 yards 11 times this season, including a career-high 427-yard effort against William Penn (Iowa) on Sept. 10. Brettel is completing 69.9 percent (372-of-532) of his throws, including 51 touchdown passes. He has tossed at least two touchdown passes in 17-straight games since becoming the starter at the end of last season.
For his career, Brettell enters the national championship game with 6,282 passing yards, a 70.3 percent (498-of-708) completion rate and 62 career touchdowns – a new program record.
Brettell is the first award winner from a national championship participating team to take home the trophy since Austin Dodge of Southern Oregon won it in 2014. Eddie Eviston of Georgetown (Ky.), who claimed three-straight awards from 1999 – 2001, and Tyler Emmert of Carroll (Mont.) are the only repeat winners. Emmert received the honor in 2003 and 2005. Overall, there have been 18 offensive and two defensive players named to this exclusive club. Carroll linebacker Owen Koeppen (2008) was the last defensive player to win the award.
The 61st annual NAIA Football National Championship, presented by Waste Pro, is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 17 in Daytona Beach, Fla. Baker and Saint Francis (Ind.) are appearing in the contest. The City of Daytona Beach and Municipal Stadium are hosting the game, which will be delivered nationally on ESPN3 at 6 p.m. EST, for the third-straight season.
2016 NAIA National Football Player of the Year Nominees
Central States Football League – Alden Mann, Wayland Baptist (Texas) (LB)
Frontier Conference – Nolan Saraceni, Montana Tech (RB)
Great Plains Athletic Conference – Dillon Turner, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) (QB)
Heart of America Athletic Conference – Logan Brettell, Baker (Kan.) (QB)
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference – Cedrick Phillips, Sterling (Kan.) (QB)
Mid-South Conference East Division – Aaron Cooper, Kentucky Christian (LB)
Mid-South Conference West Division – L.J. Stegall, Reinhardt (Ga.) (RB)
Mid-States Football Association Mideast League – Krishawn Hogan, Marian (Ind.) (WR)
Mid-States Football Association Midwest League – Korey Roberts, Robert Morris (Ill.) (RB)
North Star Athletic Association – Austin Opdahl, Dakota State (S.D.) (WR)
The Sun Conference – Jarrell Reynolds, Southeastern (Fla.) (RB)
All-Time Rawlings-NAIA Player of the Year Award Winners
1997 – Bo Hurley, Findlay (Ohio), QB
1998 – Jack Williams, Azusa Pacific (Calif.), RB
1999 – Eddie Eviston, Georgetown (Ky.), QB
2000 – Eddie Eviston, Georgetown (Ky.), QB
2001 – Eddie Eviston, Georgetown (Ky.), QB
2002 – Nick Kortan, Sioux Falls (S.D.), RB
2003 – Tyler Emmert, Carroll (Mont.), QB
2004 – Cory Jacquay, Saint Francis (Ind.), RB
2005 – Tyler Emmert, Carroll (Mont.), QB
2006 – Brian Kurtz, Saint Francis (Ind.), LB
2007 – Chad Cavender, Sioux Falls (S.D.), QB
2008 – Owen Koeppen, Carroll (Mont.), LB
2009 – Lorenzo Brown, Sioux Falls (S.D.), QB
2010 – Jon Ryan, Sioux Falls (S.D.), WR
2011 – Chance Demarais, Carroll (Mont.), RB
2012 – Jimmy Coy, Saint Xavier (Ill.), QB
2013 – Kyle Schuck, Morningside (Iowa), WR
2014 – Austin Dodge, Southern Oregon, QB
2015 – Ryan Kasdorf, Morningside (Iowa), QB
2016 – Logan Brettell, Baker (Kan.), QB