BOCA RATON, Fla. - Florida Atlantic University sophomore running back "Motor" Devin Singletary was voted by Conference USA coaches as the league's Most Valuable Player for the 2017 season, and is the first running back to receive the award in conference history, as announced by the C-USA office on Wednesday afternoon.
Singletary's season ranks as one of the best in FBS not only this year, but all-time. Heading into bowl season, he is No. 1 in the country in rushing touchdowns (29), total touchdowns (30) and total points among non-kickers (180), and is fourth nationwide in rushing yards (1,796). Should he tally another rushing score, he would become just the fifth NCAA FBS back since 1956 to reach the 30-touchdown plateau, following in the footsteps of Barry Sanders (37 for Oklahoma State in 1988), Monte Ball (33 for Wisconsin in 2011), Kapri Bibbs (31 for Colorado State in 2013) and Keenan Reynolds (31 for Navy in 2013).
Additionally, Singletary's 30 touchdowns from scrimmage makes him one of just 10 to achieve that milestone in history, and he could vault into a tie for third place with two scores, or third place alone with three. Ball holds the all-time mark with 39, Sanders had 37, and a trio reached 32 (Boise State's Brock Forsey in 2002, Jay Ajayi, also for Boise State in 2014 and Melvin Gordon for Wisconsin, in 2014 as well).
As far as season yardage, to this point, there have only been 29 instances of running backs reaching 2,000 yards in a single season; Singletary would need 204 to join that select group (though that is not out of the question, he has the only four 200-yard rushing games in FAU history). Besides being No. 4 in FBS in rushing, he is also fifth in all-purpose yards, and is just 19 yards away from 2,000 in that category.
All told, the native of Deerfield Beach reached numbers this year that broke seven FAU single-season marks: rushing TD, total TD, total points, rushing yards, all-purpose yards, rushing yards per game and all-purpose yards per game. In just two seasons, he has shattered the career rushing touchdown record with 41 (it was previously 27), and he is already third all-time in rushing yards. He is just 183 yards on the ground away from the 3,000-yard mark in his career, and 253 yards from moving into second place. Should he reach 50 yards in the bowl game, he'll rank second on the all-time all-purpose yardage list.
Along with this honor on Wednesday, Singletary was also chosen Third Team All-American by College Sports Madness. He was the only C-USA representative named and was selected to the Third Team alongside running back Ronald Jones II of USC (behind First Teamers Saquon Barkley of Penn State and Bryce Love of Stanford, followed by Jonathan Taylor from Wisconsin and San Diego State's Rashaad Penny on the Second Team).
The 2017 finale for Singletary and the Owls will be the Boca Raton Bowl, scheduled for Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. at FAU Stadium, against Akron. Tickets can be purchased by visiting FAUSports.com or by calling 1-866-FAU-OWLS.