Sunday, October 15, 2006

Walter Payton Award

The equivalent to the Heisman Award for 1-AA football players is the Walter Payton Award. This is the time of year that Heisman starts to take on real meaning so I thought I'd give an early glimpse into who I see in 1-AA who could be finalists for this year's Walter Payton Award.

1. Clifton Dawson Harvard - averaging 137.2 yards rushing per game (5th in the nation) but I put him tops because he will probably break the all time 1-AA rushing record this year (although he probably won't win the Payton award)
2. Scott Knapp Duquesne - 290 yards passing per game 19 TD and 2035 yards passing in 7 games
3. Justise Hairston Central Connecticut State - 1247 rushing yards in 7 games
4. Tyler Thigpen Coastal Carolina - leads the nation in total offense with 327 yards per game
5. (tie) Scott Phaydavong Drake - 1066 yards rushing in 7 games (tie) Liam Coen U Mass - leads the nation in QB passing efficiency and plays for one of the best teams in the country (tie) Josh Johnson San Diego - 19 TD and 1607 yards passing in just 6 games

Honorable Mention:
- Marcus Mason Youngstown St - averaging 150 yards rushing per game
- Mike McLeod Yale - averaging 148 yards rushing per game (but just a sophomore which could hurt him with some voters)
- Ricky Santos New Hampshire - the loss yesterday may have dropped him from the top candidates but Santos is the heart of one of the best teams in the country

I know I could have added five or more players to the list. It is still early and I'll update my standings periodically.

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