NORTHBROOK, Ill. – Gardner-Webb quarterback Tyrell Maxwell was one of eight FCS standouts added to the 2016 Walter Payton Award Watch List on Wednesday afternoon.
The Payton Award, in its 30th season, honors the offensive player of the year in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Maxwell (Cordova, S.C. / Edisto HS) has enjoyed a breakout season – his second as a starter at Gardner-Webb – in 2016. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound standout has emerged as a true dual-threat signal caller – leading all FCS quarterbacks with 865 rushing yards while completing 114-of-212 passes for 1,491 yards and nine touchdowns. He has scored seven touchdowns on the ground this season.
Maxwell directed Gardner-Webb to its second upset of a top-15 squad in as many seasons this past Saturday, totaling 360 of his team's 430 yards offensively and completing a short touchdown pass for the game winner over No. 8 Charleston Southern.
He added to his league-record with at least 100 yards passing and 100 yards rushing – posting 165 yards and a 52-yard touchdown on the ground and passing for 195 yards and the game-winning score against the Buccaneers. It was the sixth time he has accomplished that feat in a game during his career.
The game was also Maxwell's seventh career 100-yard rushing game, also a Big South record for a quarterback.
The Big South Conference's all-time rushing leader for a quarterback, Maxwell has posted 400 carries for 1,914 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground for his career. He has also passed for 2,565 yards and 16 touchdowns.
He currently leads the Big South Conference in total offense (235.6 ypg) and paces the circuit in total rushing yards (865) and passing yards (1,491) with one game remaining on the schedule. He has accounted for 16 touchdowns and 100 points so far this season – while cutting his interception total to only four in 212 attempts.
Maxwell is averaging a league-best 122.8 yards per game on the ground in Big South games, posting a healthy 6.9 yards per carry on 71 attempts. His 311 yards of total offensive per game also paces the league against Big South opponents – as does his 147.9 pass efficiency rating.
The junior standout has been named Big South Conference Offensive Player of the Week a league-high three times in 2016.
Maxwell is the first Gardner-Webb student-athlete to appear on the Walter Payton Award Watch List since Kenny Cook was named to the preseason list prior to the 2014 season.
Gardner-Webb will enjoy its open date on November 12, but will close out the season at home on November 19 against Monmouth (1:30 pm kickoff).