After leading the College to one of its most successful seasons in school history, quarterback Lang Campbell put a fitting end to what was a magical football season by being named the recipient of the 2004 Walter Payton Award at the 18th annual FCS College Football Awards Ceremony held on December 16th in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Campbell became the first Tribe player to earn the award, which is presented annually to the most outstanding offensive player in the FCS ranks, by virtue of a national vote of college sports information directors and selected media.
Campbell established school single-season records for passing yards (3,988), total offense (4,305) and touchdowns (30), as well as touchdowns responsible for (38, as he also had eight rushing TDs). The Winchester, Va., native led William & Mary to a share of the Atlantic 10 title and its first appearance in the NCAA I-AA semifinals, along with the first 11-win season in the 110-year history of the Tribe's program. At the conclusion of the regular season, Campbell was honored as the A-10 Offensive Player of the Year, becoming the first player in the Tribe's 12-year association with the league to earn the award.
Campbell's 2004 Game-by-Game Stats
He earned the A-10's highest individual offensive honor as the key component in a Tribe attack that averaged over 430 yards and 34 points a contest. The history and economics major helped power the squad to a 11-3 final record, a share of the A-10 Title and a school-record No. 3 seed in the NCAA Championship field by leading the conference in seven different categories, including passing yards, passing efficiency and total offense.
By ending the season leading the sixth-ranked Tribe to a 38-14 win over arch rival Richmond with 291 yards and four touchdowns on 21 completions (in 28 attempts), Campbell earned his third A-10 Offensive Player of the Week honor.
Campbell's season average of 284.9 passing yards per game is a school-record and was the top figure in the A-10. Campbell became just the fourth Tribe quarterback to throw for 3,000 yards in a season and joins former All-American signal-caller Mike Cook (1995-98) as the College's only quarterbacks to accomplish the trick in just 11 games (Cook threw for 3,028 in 1998). Campbell's 3,988 passing yards shatters the school's previous single-season total of 3,414, set by Chris Hakel during a 13-game 1990 season.
By completing 65.5 percent of his attempts (298 of 455), Campbell had the third-best single-season completion percentage in school history. In fact, he ended his career by completing better than 50 percent of his attempts in all but one of his 24 career starts. For his career, Campbell registered a completion percentage of .649, which ranks him second all-time at the College (trailing only Shawn Knight's career mark of .655).
Campbell ended the regular season with just one interception in 326 attempts. His minuscule interception percentage of .31 was the best 11-game average in the nation among all levels (the next closest total was Georgetown's Andrew Crawford, who sported a .64 average, with just one pick in 156 attempts) and an NCAA regular-season record. Campbell ended the regular season by throwing 235 consecutive passes without an interception and had a TD-to-INT ratio of 21:1, which was far and away the nation's best total among all quarterbacks. He also rushed for eight touchdowns and 317 yards.
All season Campbell proved his ability to excel when the spotlight was shining brightest. In the eight games against ranked opponents in 2004, he averaged 291.1 passing yards per game (2,330), completed 66.1% of his attempts (154 of 233) and accounted for 18 touchdowns.
In his lone outing against I-A competition, at the University of North Carolina, Campbell accounted for four touchdowns and 357 total yards in the team's hard-fought 49-38 loss.
He etched his name throughout the College's record book in just two years as a starter, ranking fifth in career passing yards (6,494), fourth in total offense (7,149) and third in touchdown passes (54).
A four-time honor roll student at the College, Campbell graduated with a GPA of better than 3.3 and with a degree in history and economics. Not only a leader on the field, Campbell was active in helping chart the school's athletic policies, as they relate to athletes, by being a member of the school's Student Athletics Advisory Council. He also made an impact for several local charities, including Avalon (a house for abused women and children) and St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
Campbell received 40 first-place votes and 315 points from the panel of 94 I-AA sports information directors and selected media. Following Campbell in the voting were Sam Houston State quarterback Dustin Long, who earned 17 first-place votes and 185 total points, and Appalachian State wide receiver DaVon Fowlkes, who had eight first-place votes and 151 total points.
A Tradition of Great Tribe Quarterbacks
Bob Stoy (1957-60)
All-Southern Scholastic Team, 1960
Bill Deery (1972-74)
All-Southern Conference, 1974
Tom Rozantz (1975-78)
All-Southern Conference, 1976
Blue-Gray All-Star Football Classic, 1978
Stan Yagiello (1982-85)
Ken Lambiotte (1985-86)
Academic All-America, 1986
NFF Postgraduate Scholarship Winner, 1986
Chris Hakel (1987-91)
Blue-Gray All-Star Classic, 1991
North-South Shrine Game, 1991
Shawn Knight (1990-94)
All-Yankee Conference, 1993
All-Yankee Conference, 1994
Mike Cook (1994-98)
All-Yankee Conference, 1996
All-Atlantic 10, 1998
Daron Pope (1996-2000)
All-Atlantic 10 Academic Team, 2000
David Corley, Jr. (1998-2002)
Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, 1999
All-Atlantic 10, 2000
All-Atlantic 10, 2001
All-Atlantic 10, 2002
Lang Campbell (2000-04)
All-Atlantic 10 Academic Team, 2002
All-Atlantic 10, 2003
All-Atlantic 10 Academic Team, 2003
All-Atlantic 10, 2004
Walter Payton Award, 2004
Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year, 2004
ECAC Player of the Year, 2004
Las Vegas All-American Classic, 2004
All-Atlantic 10 Academic Team, 2004
Atlantic 10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, 2004
Jake Phillips (2004-08)
All-Colonial Athletic Association, 2007
All-Colonial Athletic Association, 2008
R.J. Archer (2005-09)
All-Colonial Athletic Association, 2009