GREENSBORO (December 5, 2017) – It is another year and another Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year award for a North Carolina A&T Aggie football player. The name of the Aggie the award belongs to in 2017 is Lamar Raynard (6-foot-4, 200, quarterback, High Point, NC).
It is the fifth time in seven seasons an Aggie claimed the award. Raynard joins running backs Mike Mayhew (2011) and Tarik Cohen (2014, ‘15, ‘16) as Aggies who have won offensive player of the year in the conference under head coach Rod Broadway. Raynard is the first N.C. A&T quarterback to be named offensive player of the year since Connell Maynor earned the honor in 1991. He is the fourth quarterback in school history to win MEAC Offensive Player of the Year, joining Maynor (1990, ‘91), Alan Hooker (1986) and Ellsworth Turner (1976). Other MEAC Offensive Player of the Year award winners include wide receiver Willie Wright (1971), running back George Ragsdale (1975) and running back Maurice Hicks (2001).
The conference made the announcement at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in partnership with the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame during the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner. Raynard, Broadway and N.C. A&T Director of Athletics Earl M. Hilton III were in attendance. South Carolina State linebacker Darius Leonard was named defensive player of the year.
“Raynard has really grown as a quarterback. He is getting to where he is getting the ball out of his hand and making good, sound decisions and not turning it over too much,” said Broadway. “I think he has also grown as a leader. He’s got this quiet demeanor about him, but he has a competitive drive that I think drives him to be an excellent quarterback.”
A year after being named second-team All-MEAC, Raynard is now considered one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. He was a finalist for the Walter Payton Award given to the best offensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision (Division I-AA). He is one of four finalists for the Deacon Jones Award given by the Black College Football Hall of Fame to the best player in black college football. Cohen was the first-ever recipient of the award last February.
Throughout the season, Raynard toppled several school records. He broke single-season school records in yards passing yards (2,707), completions (186), touchdown passes (26), touchdowns responsible for (29) and total offense (2,875). If he gets 27 pass attempts in the 2017 Celebration Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 16, he will also own that single-season school record. Raynard has also completed 65.3 percent of his passes (186-for-285). If he keeps his completion percentage above 64.6, he will break his own single-season school record he set in 2016.
Nationally, he is third in passing efficiency (171.6), fourth in yards per pass attempt (9.50), 10th in passing yards per completion (14.55) and completion percentage, 11th in passing touchdowns and points responsible for per game (16.0), 15th in points responsible for (170), 18th in passing yards per game (246.1), 20th in passing yards and 21st in total offense per game (261.4).
He leads the MEAC in completion percentage, passing efficiency, passing TDs, passing yards, passing yards per game, points responsible for, points responsible for per game and yards per passing attempt.
Raynard, who led the Aggies to their third MEAC title in four years with a perfect 11-0 regular season, the school’s first undefeated season in 74 years, will try to lead the Aggies to a black college football national championship in the Celebration Bowl at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. If the Aggies win, they will be the first MEAC team in history to finish an entire season undefeated. It will also be their second national title in three years. The game will air live on ABC at noon.