Last month Shenandoah University senior quarterback Hayden Bauserman was named the best offensive player in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. This week he was recognized as the best small-school football player in the state.
Bauserman was handed the Lanier Award at the Touchdown Club of Richmond banquet on Wednesday night, an honor bestowed upon the top NCAA Division II/III/NAIA player in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He was selected in a vote of media members from across the state and is the first Shenandoah player to win the Lanier Award.
Bauserman is the 10th ODAC player to be chosen for the award since its inception in 2004 and the first to claim the honor since 2014, according to a news release from SU. He also was honored as the Touchdown Club of Richmond Offensive Back of the Year at the banquet.
“It means a lot to me,” Bauserman said of winning the Lanier Award on Thursday. “Obviously it’s a big-time award given to one of the best players in Division II or Division III. It means more to me that no Shenandoah player has ever gotten it before, so to be the first one to kind of do that is a big deal for me and just kind of hopefully set the path for future SU football players to be in contention for that award and show that they can go out there and do that.”
A Woodstock native and 2014 graduate of Central High School, Bauserman led the nation with 355 completions in 555 pass attempts for 3,832 yards and 43 touchdowns in 2018. He was a three-time ODAC Player of the Week honoree this past fall, earned his third straight All-ODAC first-team nod and was named second team All-Region by D3football.com.
Bauserman ended his SU career with 1,093 completions in 1,768 attempts for 12,475 yards and 132 touchdowns, the last of which is an ODAC record and leads all active NCAA players.
Another quarterback, the University of Virginia’s Bryce Perkins, took home the Dudley Award on Wednesday as the state’s top Division I player.
“It was awesome. I actually got a picture with Bryce Perkins after he won his award and I won mine, after it all wrapped up,” Bauserman said. “... Coach Jimmye Laycock from William & Mary was there, and obviously Willie Lanier (the trophy’s namesake) was there. Just to be in the presence of all that great talent and football knowledge was pretty cool.”
Bauserman is also a finalist for the Gagliardi Trophy, awarded to the top Division III player in the country. The winner of that award will be announced Friday before the Stagg Bowl in Shenandoah, Texas.
Bauserman said there is no trophy ceremony this season that he is aware of, and he plans to “just hang out in Winchester around my apartment and watch the game with some friends and see what happens.”
“I’m planning on watching the game and kind of just taking it in,” he said. “I always enjoy the Division III national championship because it’s such great football that doesn’t normally get a lot of attention. … I’m definitely gonna watch it. I’m probably not gonna pay much attention to the Gagliardi Trophy, I’m just gonna take in the game if I win. If I don’t, it was an honor to be in the top four.”