Dec. 18, 2009
ROME, Ga. - University of Sioux Falls (S.D.) senior quarterback Lorenzo Brown has been named the 2009 Rawlings-NAIA National Football Player of the Year, announced tonight (Dec. 18) from Rome, Ga., site of the 54th Annual Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship. The announcement was made at the Banquet of Champions held at the Rome Forum in downtown Rome. The 6-0, 200 lb., signalcaller becomes the third Sioux Falls athlete to be named to this prestigious honor, including the second Cougar quarterback.
In 2007, USF quarterback Chad Cavender was honored and followed the 2002 recipient, running back Nick Kortan from Sioux Falls.
"I am thankful for representing the University of Sioux Falls," said Brown. "There is a great tradition here. Chad (Cavender) pushed me to live up to what he did here and I thank him for motivating me."
Brown engineers one of the nation's most prolific offenses. The 2008 Championship Game MVP, Brown has recorded 56 touchdowns (40 passing, 16 rushing) this year. With a big effort in the National Championship, he has a shot to be a 1,000-yard rusher and 3,000-yard passer. He is 202-for-295 passing (68.5 completion percentage) with 3,023 yards. He has 40 touchdowns against just four interceptions.
On the ground, the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Offensive Player of the Year has posted 807 yards on 121 carries (6.7 ypc). In four games this year, Brown has hit the 100-yard rushing mark including three contests of 100 rushing yards to go with 200 passing yards. In sloppy conditions last year in the title game, Brown rushed for 129 yards and passed for 69 yards and a score.
The Bristol, Conn., native ranks first in the country in pass efficiency (196.600) and fourth in total offense (3,830 yards). With him at the helm, the Sioux Falls offense has tallied 747 total points (53.6 ppg), which ranks fifth most all-time among any level of college football. His 57 rushing yards per game is a big reason for the ground game to rank third in the NAIA (261.7 ypg) this season.
Brown is the 10th player to receive the NAIA Player of the Year honor since the award was first presented in 1997, with two athletes repeating. Overall, there have been eight offensive players and two on the defensive side to be recognized.
No. 1 Sioux Falls takes on No. 3 Lindenwood University (Mo.) in the National Championship tomorrow (Dec. 19) from Barron Stadium in Rome, Ga. Kick-off is set for 12 p.m. EST with the game televised live on CBS College Sports Television.
Rawlings-NAIA National Football Player of the Year:
1997 - Bo Hurley, Findlay (Ohio)
1998 - Jack Williams, Azusa Pacific (Calif.)
1999 - Eddie Eviston, Georgetown (Ky.)
2000 - Eddie Eviston, Georgetown (Ky.)
2001 - Eddie Eviston, Georgetown (Ky.)
2002 - Nick Kortan, Sioux Falls (S.D.)
2003 - Tyler Emmert, Carroll (Mont.)
2004 - Cory Jacquay, St. Francis (Ind.)
2005 - Tyler Emmert, Carroll (Mont.)
2006 - Brian Kurtz, St. Francis (Ind.)
2007 - Chad Cavender, Sioux Falls (S.D.)
2008 - Owen Koeppen, Carroll (Mont.)
2009 - Lorenzo Brown, Sioux Falls (S.D.)