Villanova quarterback John Robertson, who was unable to play in Saturday's 34-31 playoff loss to visiting Sam Houston State because of a concussion, is among three finalists for Football Championship Subdivision's most prestigious honor, which will be presented Monday in Philadelphia.
Among the finalists for the Walter Payton Award are Robertson, a redshirt junior; Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., and Idaho State quarterback Justin Arias. The award will be presented Monday at the Sports Network Banquet at the Sheraton Society Hill.
Awards voting, conducted by a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers, and other dignitaries, was based on the regular season.
A Villanova official said over the weekend that Robertson would attend the banquet. He attended Saturday's game at Villanova Stadium, on the sideline with his team.
"Being named a finalist for the Walter Payton Award is truly an honor," Robertson said in an e-mail. "Football is a team game, and I would not even be in consideration for this award if it were not for all the contributions from my coaches and teammates."
Villanova has had two players win the Walter Payton Award: receiver Brian Finneran in 1997 and running back Brian Westbrook in 2001.
"We would be the only school in the country to have three [winners] if he can win it," Villanova coach Andy Talley said before the Sam Houston State game. "It would speak volumes that this is a program where you can come in and be coached and have the opportunity to be one of the great players in the country."
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois, now a rookie with the New England Patriots, was the Payton winner last year.
Also at the FCS banquet, the winners of the Buck Buchanan Award (outstanding defensive player), Jerry Rice Award (freshman of the year), and Eddie Robinson Award (coach of the year) will be named.
Robertson completed 65.4 percent of his passes for 2,846 yards, with 35 touchdowns and three interceptions. He rushed for 1,078 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Adams, whose Eastern Washington team lost, 59-46, on Saturday to Illinois State in an FCS quarterfinal, threw for 3,483 yards with 35 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 10 games. He missed four games this season with a broken foot.
Arias threw for 4,076 yards with 38 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.