The Payton Award will celebrate its 25th anniversary this season and be presented to the FCS’ outstanding player at the national awards banquet Thursday night, Jan. 5 in Frisco, Texas.
This season’s winner will join a list of Payton Award greats such as Steve McNair, John Friesz, Brian Westbrook, Tony Romo, Brian Finneran, Armanti Edwards and 2010 winner Jeremy Moses of Stephen F. Austin.
Coleman is one of 11 quarterbacks on the list. The Mocs’ team captain is looking to build on a 2010 campaign where he threw for 2,996 yards while completing 56.3 percent (215-382) of his passes.
He was sixth in the nation with 26 touchdown passes, the second-highest total in school history. Coleman was also ranked No. 7 in the FCS with 272.4 passing yards per game.
Coleman will threaten most of the Mocs’ career passing records in 2011. More importantly, he hopes to lead Chattanooga back to the FCS playoffs for the first time since 1984.
Three finalists will be announced on Dec. 1 and invited to The Sports Network/Fathead FCS Awards Presentation.
Coleman is also the seventh-ranked quarterback prospect for next year’s NFL Draft, according to NFLDraftScout.com and CBSSportsline.com.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder is rated ahead of notables, such as Kellen Moore (Boise State), Stephen Garcia (South Carolina), Case Keenum (Houston), Jordan Jefferson (LSU), and John Brantley (Florida).