BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Liam Welch had a successful football season, even if it didn't play out on fall Saturdays.

With his football team playing in the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 6-foot-2, 194-pound Samford University quarterback led the Southern Conference in touchdowns, passing yards, total offense, passing yards per game and total offense per game.

He was named the Offensive Player of the Year by league coaches, and a finalist for the prestigious Walter Payton Award.

Welch can add another honor to that list, the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Small College Athlete of the Year. The group announced the honor on Thursday.

Welch completed 161 of 236 passing attempts for 2,242 yards and 12 touchdowns. With Samford playing just seven games, he averaged 373.7 passing yards.

That ranked fourth nationally in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Welch also led the Southern Conference and was second in the nation in total offense per game, averaging 424.2 total yards.

He set a school league record by passing for 570 yards in Samford’s game against No. 19 VMI.

As for not playing in the fall, Samford’s website quoted him as saying: “When we were preparing for the spring, it was freezing cold, every single day at practice. I’m not going to lie, I was thinking, ‘This is ridiculous, I can’t even warm up correctly.’ “But, I actually ended up liking it a lot more, honestly. It got warmer throughout the season, and this last game against Mercer, it was beautiful.”

He was 39 of 49 for 443 yards that day, helping lead an impressive 44-20 victory over No. 23 Mercer.

Welch will be presented with the award during the 49th annual ASWA awards banquet Sunday evening in Birmingham.

List of ASWA Small College Athlete of the Year winners:

2020 Liam Welch

2019 Robert Shufford

2018 Nicole Federovitch

2017 Hary Satterwhite

2016 Jacob Tucker

2015 Jewell Ratliff

2014 Chloe Richards

2013 Deonica McCormick

2012 Jaime Smith

2011 Chloe Roberts

2011 Brett Munson

2009 Michael Johnson

2009 A.J. Milwee

2007 Jacary Atkinson

2005 Laura Bellinger

2005 James Hall

2004 Vanessa Ferretti

2003 Will Hall

2002 Douglas Hargett

2001 Bobby Wilson

2000 Tony Cappola

1999 Eric Campbell

1998 Sam Lee

1997 Ronda Price

1996 James Cason

1995 Roland McKinnon

1994 Ronald McKinnon

1993 Tyrone Rush

1992 Danny Lee

1991 Tim VanEgmond

1990 James Davis

1989 Barry Wagner

1988 Jeff Branson

1987 Mike Turk

1986 Stewart Lee

1985 Melvin Allen

1984 Darryl Smith

1983 Scott Whaley