NORFOLK, Va. – For the second-straight season, Old Dominion University football quarterback Taylor Heinicke was named the All-State Offensive Player of the Year, voted on by the Virginia Sports Information Directors. Heinicke was also named first-team quarterback while wide receiver Larry Pinkard and returner Aaron Evans also earned first-team honors, while kicker Jarod Brown was named to the second team. Gerard Johnson was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Heinicke passed for 4,022 yards on 340-of-486 passes and tossed 33 touchdowns. He also rushed for 348 yards and five touchdowns. The 2012 Walter Payton Award winner given to the best player in the FCS, Heinicke completed 70 percent of his passes on the year, completing 80 percent in games against Albany, The Citadel and Rhode Island, including a school record of 84.8 percent against the Great Danes.
Pinkard registered career-highs with 68 catches for 1,020 yards and tied his career-best with nine touchdowns. His receptions, yards and TD’s, were the second most in a single-season in school history. He caught a career-best nine passes at Pittsburgh and notched a career-best with 154 receiving yards in the win over Campbell.
Evans set single-season school records with 33 kick returns for 802 yards, and had kick returns of 76 and 75 yards this season. He also returned six punts for 70 yards, including a 64-yarder for a touchdown in the comeback win over Liberty.
Brown led the Monarchs in scoring for the fourth-straight season, tying his own single-season record he set last season with 103 points. The senior from Yorktown, Va. was 64-of-65 on extra points and was 13-of-20 on field goals. He set the ODU record for longest field goal twice this season, once in the Monarch’s 59-58 victory over The Citadel with a 52-yarder and he connected on a 54-yard kick at Pittsburgh. The kick at Pittsburgh was the longest field goal by a kicker, college or professional, at Heinz Field. He made four field goals of 50-yards or longer in his career.
Johnson, a true freshman, had 57 carries for 384 yards and five touchdowns. He recorded two of ODU’s three 100-yard rushing games, a 101-yard effort on 17 carries in the win at Norfolk State, and 143 yards on just nine attempts at North Carolina. Johnson reeled off a school record 81-yard gain in the finale at UNC. The Richmond native also caught six passes for 59 yards and was a key member of the special teams unit.