RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - James Madison junior quarterback Vad Lee was awarded the 2014 Bill Dudley Award on Wednesday night, given to the best Division I football player in Virginia. Lee beat out fellow finalists Taylor Heinicke (Old Dominion) and Kendall Fuller (Virginia Tech) to claim the honor.
Hampden-Sydney senior quarterback Nash Nance was honored with the Willie Lanier Award as the top Division II/ Division III/ NAIA player in the commonwealth. Andre Rawls (Virginia State) and Marcus Morrast (Christopher Newport) were the other finalists.
Lee had a record-setting season after transferring in the spring to JMU and leading the most prolific offense in the league. Lee JMU to first postseason berth since 2011. Lee set new single-season school records in passing completions (282), attempts (465), yards (3,462) and touchdowns (30) as well as total offense (4,288 yards). A three-time CAA Offensive Player of the Week pick, he has also set the single-game passing record twice this year, becoming the first-ever JMU player to surpass the 400-yard mark with 406 at Villanova Sept. 20 before extending it with 433 yards in the 55-20 victory at then No. 14-Richmond, Nov. 15. Lee threw for more than 300 yards in five contests and had a streak of six games with at least 250 passing yards. Lee has also done it on the ground, ranking ninth in the league at 63.5 yards per game and a team-high nine rushing touchdowns on the season. He set a personal collegiate career-best with 174 rushing yards against Saint Francis, also the team season-high mark.
Nance, a 2014 Preseason All-American and three-time All-ODAC pick, has led the Tigers to their second consecutive Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship while being in the top two in the conference in several statistical categories for a quarterback. He has passed for 2,786 yards (278.6 per-game) while completing 60.6 percent of his passes (198-of-327). He's also thrown for 28 touchdowns to just nine interceptions. On the ground, he's rushed for nine touchdowns, which is third best in the conference. His 60 points on nine rushing and one receiving touchdown are fifth best in the league. Nance was twice named the ODAC Player of the Week; first after accounting for six touchdowns in the Tigers' 55-32 win over Washington & Lee. He threw for three touchdowns, ran for two, and caught one. He was 19-of-27 for 359 yards, ran for 42 and had 31 receiving yards. His second honor came after he accounted for five touchdowns against Shenandoah, throwing three and running in two. He was 21-of-31 for 381 yards. Statistically, one of his best games was against then-undefeated Emory & Henry, as he went 25-of-35 for 481 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions. Impressively, he is second in the ODAC in punting, averaging 41.9 yards-per-punt in his 20 kicks. Nance earned Touchdown Club of Richmond's Offensive Back of the Year honors in 2013 as well as being named First Team All-ODAC, All-State, All-Region, and Honorable Mention All-American. Additionally, he was the 2013 South Region Offensive Player of the Year (d3football.com). He currently stands as the program's third best passer with 7,937 yards. His 682 completions and 79 touchdowns are both second in Hampden-Sydney history.