Eastern Kentucky University quarterback Tyler Swafford received the 2016 Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year award on Friday at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet in Frisco, Texas, the site of tomorrow’s Football Championship Subdivision national title game.
The award is given each year to a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) student-athlete who excels not only on the field and in the classroom, but in the community and beyond. It is named in honor of the wife of the legendary coach at Grambling State, Eddie Robinson. This is just the second year that the Doris Robinson Award has been given. Swafford is the first Eastern Kentucky player to receive it. An Ohio Valley Conference football player has now one each of the first two.
The Doris Robinson Award was presented along with the Walter Payton Award, the Buck Buchanan Award and the Jerry Rice Award at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet.
On Nov. 19, Swafford was chosen as EKU’s first Mitchell Scholar, and the first from a public institution of higher learning in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The George J. Mitchell Scholarship Program is a national, competitive scholarship sponsored by the US-Ireland Alliance. Swafford will spend the 2017-18 academic year working on a postgraduate degree at University College Dublin in Ireland.
The senior globalization and international affairs major will study geopolitics and global economy in Dublin. Swafford plans to pursue a career as an international human rights attorney after he graduates in May 2017.
In addition to being a George J. Mitchell Scholar, Swafford has a 4.0 cumulative GPA, is an EKU Honors Scholar and will earn his degree in just three years (May 2017).
On the field this season, Swafford had 940 passing yards, five passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. He went 5-for-6 with a touchdown pass at Purdue, threw for a season-best 289 yards versus Murray State and tossed two touchdown passes while helping EKU tie the program record for points in a game (67) at Austin Peay.
Swafford was chosen as the Doris Robinson Award recipient from a list of finalists representing all 13 FCS conferences. The other finalists were: Dayton linebacker Christopher Beaschler (Pioneer Football League), New Hampshire cornerback Casey DeAndrade (CAA Football), Saint Francis place-kicker Lance Geesey (Northeast Conference), Liberty offensive lineman Lucas Holder (Big South Conference), Alcorn State linebacker Michael Hurns (Southwestern Athletic Conference), North Dakota linebacker Brian Labat (Big Sky Conference), Wofford place-kicker David Marvin (Southern Conference), Delaware State offensive lineman Ernest Mengoni (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference), Northern Iowa defensive end Karter Schult (Missouri Valley Football Conference), Stephen F. Austin safety Marlon Walls (Southland Conference), Penn wide receiver Justin Watson (Ivy League) and Holy Cross wide receiver Jake Wieczorek (Patriot League).
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