BOZEMAN — Stats Perform announced the finalists for a pair of 2022 Football Championship Subdivision awards on Monday, and each list features a member of a Montana team.
Montana State head coach Brent Vigen is one of the 16 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award, given to the FCS coach of the year. Montana punter Patrick Rohrbach made the list of 25 finalists for the Jerry Rice Award, which goes to the freshman of the year.
Vigen is one of two Big Sky Conference coaches to be named an Eddie Robinson Award finalist. The other is Sacramento State's Troy Taylor, who won the award in 2019. The Bobcats and Hornets shared the Big Sky title with 8-0 conference records. Both teams went 10-0 against FCS foes during the regular season, while Sac State beat FBS Colorado State and MSU lost to FBS Oregon State.
Last year's Eddie Robinson Award winner, Deion Sanders, is a finalist again this year after leading Jackson State to an 11-0 season. Sanders' son and Jackson State quarterback Shedeur Sanders earned the 2021 Jerry Rice Award.
Rohrbach replaced FCS punter of the year Brian Buschini, who transferred from UM to Nebraska. Through 11 games, Rohrbach is averaging 46.2 yards per punt and 42.2 net yards per punt. Fourteen of his 40 attempts have traveled at least 50 yards, with a long of 68.
The Kalispell Glacier graduate is one of three Big Sky finalists for the Jerry Rice Award. UC Davis defensive back Rex Connor and Idaho QB Gevani McCoy are the other two.
Finalists for the Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year) and Buck Buchanan Award (defensive player of the year) will be announced Wednesday.