DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Saint Francis (Ind.) quarterback Nick Ferrer has been named the 2017 NAIA National Football Player of the Year, announced Friday evening as part of the NAIA Championship banquet. The event was held at The Plaza Resort and Spa, the banquet site for the 62nd annual NAIA Football National Championship.
“Wow, this is truly an incredible honor,” said Ferrer. “So many players who are truly deserving. I’m not big on personal awards and I’m nothing without any of my 10 other teammates. I want to thank especially my offensive linemen. It’s hard to put into words how much Coach Donley means to me. He instilled in me confidence and I can’t thank him enough.”
Ferrer, who guided Saint Francis to its first national title in 2016, played a key role in getting the top-ranked and unbeaten Cougars (13-0) back to the championship final for a second-straight year. The senior ranks among the top 10 nationally in pass efficiency (173.8), total passing (3,925), total offense (3,771) and passing yards per game (301.9). Ferrer completed 68.1 percent (288-for-423) of his throws this season, including 38 touchdown passes.
For his career, Ferrer enters the national championship game with 12,265 passing yards and 135 touchdowns – both of which rank among the top five all-time in the NAIA. He is a two-time Mid-States Football Association Offensive Player of the Year (2017, 2015) and earlier this week was announced as a 2017 AFCA-NAIA All-American.
Ferrer is the third Cougar to take home the award, joining Cory Jacquay (2004) and Brian Kurtz (2006).
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 has been 19 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 62nd annual NAIA Football National Championship is scheduled for Saturday, December 16 at 6 p.m. EST in Daytona Beach, Fla., broadcast live on ESPN3. The City of Daytona Beach hosts the event at Municipal Stadium for the fourth-straight season. For fan and visitor information, including ticket details, click here.
2017 NAIA National Player of the Year Nominees
Frontier Conference - Tanner Trosin, Southern Oregon
Great Plains Athletic Conference - Dillon Turner, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)
Heart of America Athletic Conference - Resean Coleman, William Penn (Iowa)
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference - Evan Sprayberry, Tabor (Kan.)
Mid-South Conference Appalachian Division - Tevin McCoy, Reinhardt (Ga.)
Mid-South Conference Bluegrass Division - Dylan Beasley, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)
Mid-South Conference Sun Division - Jarrell Reynolds, Southeastern (Fla.)
Mid-States Football Association Mideast League - Nick Ferrer, Saint Francis (Ind.)
Mid-States Football Association Midwest League - Lexus Jackson, St. Francis (Ill.)
North Star Athletic Association - Thomas Sease, Dickinson State (N.D.)