Walter Payton Award Watch List gains six nominees

By CRAIG HALEY

STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - Six players were named midseason additions to the STATS FCS Walter Payton Award Watch List on Wednesday.

The Payton Award, first awarded in 1987 and presented to the FCS offensive player of the year, has watched past winners such as Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Brian Westbrook, John Friesz, Brian Finneran, Jimmy Garoppolo and Cooper Kupp move on to the NFL. A national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will vote on 25 finalists following the regular season.

The new nominees to the watch list:

Keelan Doss, UC Davis, WR, R-Jr., 6-3, 206, Alameda, California

Ranks first in the FCS in receptions per game (9.3) and receiving yards per game (145) and second in receiving yards (870). Also has caught five touchdowns.

Hayden Hildebrand, Central Arkansas, R-Sr., 6-3, 192, Bossier City, Louisiana

A four-touchdown performance against Sam Houston State has highlighted a season in which Hildebrand has completed over 68 percent of his passes with 14 touchdowns.

Josh Mack, Maine, RB, So., 6-1, 198, Rochester, New York

Bolstered by 255- and 248-yard rushing performances, Mack leads the FCS in rushing yards per game (154.4). He's scored five touchdowns.

Lamar Raynard, North Carolina A&T, QB, R-Jr., 6-4, 200, High Point, North Carolina

Raynard has led the Aggies to a 7-0 start as the FCS leader in passing efficiency (185.5) with 20 touchdown passes against only three interceptions.

Chris Streveler, South Dakota, QB, R-Sr., 6-3, 215, Crystal Lake, Illinois

The Missouri Valley's 2016 newcomer of the year has risen to an even higher level with 25 total touchdowns (17 passing, eight rushing) in the No. 4 Coyotes' 6-0 start.

Roc Thomas, Jacksonville State, RB, R-Sr., 5-11, 193, Oxford, Alabama

The No. 1 offensive option for the Ohio Valley Conference power, Thomas has rushed for 553 yards and six touchdowns and is second on the team in receptions (11).

Preseason nominees for the watch list were quarterbacks Jeremiah Briscoe of Sam Houston State, Taryn Christion of South Dakota State, Case Cookus of Northern Arizona, Gage Gubrud of Eastern Washington, Devlin Hodges of Samford, DeVante Kincade of Grambling State, Kyle Lauletta of Richmond, Anthony Lawrence of San Diego, Tyrell Maxwell of Gardner-Webb and Bryan Schor of James Madison; running backs Chase Edmonds of Fordham, Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks of Albany, John Lovett of Princeton and Detrez Newsome of Western Carolina; fullback Joe Protheroe of Cal Poly; wide receivers Emmanuel Butler of Northern Arizona, Kamron Lewis of Saint Francis, Troy Pelletier of Lehigh, Justin Watson of Penn and Jake Wieneke of South Dakota State; tight end Dallas Goedert of South Dakota State; and offensive tackle Brandon Parker of North Carolina A&T.

Also this season, 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 October 18, 2017

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