College Football

Walter Payton Award watch list grows by 16

By CRAIG HALEY

STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - As the weather chills on the college football season, the race for the Heisman of the FCS has turned red hot.

On Wednesday, 16 players were added to the watch list of the 2019 STATS FCS Walter Payton Award, which is named for the legendary Hall of Fame running back and since 1987 has honored the offensive player of the year in college football's Division I subdivision.

Joining the watch list were quarterbacks Kevin Davidson of Princeton, Felix Harper of Alcorn State, Trey Lance of North Dakota State, Kurt Rawlings of Yale, Reid Sinnett of San Diego, Breylin Smith of Central Arkansas, Daniel Smith of Villanova, Ryan Stanley of Florida A&M, Kevin Thomson of Sacramento State, Aaron Winchester of Central Connecticut State and Bailey Zappe of Houston Baptist; running backs Pete Guerriero of Monmouth, Jah-Maine Martin of North Carolina A&T, Alex Ramsey of VMI and Pierre Strong Jr. of South Dakota State; and wide receiver/return specialist Chris Rowland of Tennessee State.

Preseason nominees were quarterbacks Tyrie Adams of Western Carolina, Kenji Bahar of Monmouth, Eric Barriere of Eastern Washington, Grant Breneman of Colgate, Case Cookus of Northern Arizona, Zerrick Cooper of Jacksonville State, Tom Flacco of Towson, Chase Fourcade of Nicholls, Noah Johnson of Alcorn State, Jake Maier of UC Davis and Caylin Newton of Howard.

Also, running backs A.J. Hines of Duquesne, James Robinson of Illinois State, Shane Simpson of Towson and De'Shawn Waller of Alcorn State; wide receivers Michael Bandy of San Diego, Cade Johnson of South Dakota State, Reed Klubnik of Yale, Bryce Nunnelly of Chattanooga, Aaron Parker of Rhode Island, Josh Pearson of Jacksonville State and Nathan Stewart of Sam Houston State; tight ends Charlie Taumoepeau of Portland State and Adam Trautman of Dayton; and athlete Troy Andersen of Montana State.

A national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will select the Payton winner following the regular season. Past recipients include Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Brian Westbrook, Jimmy Garoppolo and Cooper Kupp.

Also in the postseason, STATS will present the Buck Buchanan Award (FCS defensive player of the year), Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman player of the year), Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year) and Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Updated November 6, 2019

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