FCS 2018 CAA Awards
Offensive Player of the Year: Tom Flacco, QB, Towson
With Flacco under center, Towson’s offense has run the no-huddle almost exclusively. Flacco threw of 3,251 yards and 28 Tds earning the CAA Offensive Player of the Year. In 12 games, the redshirt junior also racked up 742 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.
Defensive Player of the Year: Jimmy Moreland, CB, James Madison
Dukes senior cornerback Jimmy Moreland was named CAA defensive player of the year. Moreland, a 5-foot-11 175-pounder from Royal Palm Beach, Fla., had five interceptions. He returned three of them for touchdowns. Moreland holds the JMU career record for interceptions (18) and interceptions returned for touchdowns (5). This season, he also had nine pass breakups.
Special Teams Player of the Year: Shane Simpson, RB/RS, Towson
Simpson, the CAA Special Teams Player of the Year, is second in all of FCS with 171.5 all-purpose yards per game. The redshirt junior, playing at running back and special teams returner, amassed over 2,000 all-purpose yards, including 887 kickoff return yards and 711 rushing yards.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Jaylan Thomas, RB, Elon
Thomas leads Elon in rushing with 723 yards on 99 carries to average 103.3 yards per game and 7.3 yards per carry on the season. He leads the CAA in rushing ypg and his 128.1 all-purpose yards per game rank third in the league. Though missing three games to injury, Thomas has led Elon with 222 yards on just 18 carries against Rhode Island on Nov. 3 to mark the ninth-most rushing yards in a game in school history. During the game, he broke an off an explosive 86-yard touchdown run.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Christian Benford, DB, Villanova
After earning a start in his first collegiate game when the Wildcats faced Temple to begin the season, Benford quickly established himself as one of the team’s top defensive performers. He finished fourth on the team with 49 total tackles for the season, while his 38 solo stops were the second-most on the squad. He finished the regular season tied for the CAA Football lead in interceptions, and he was also among both the conference and national leaders in passes defended and interceptions per game, despite missing two games.