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Jennings Named to Walter Payton Watch List

August 29, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Rashad Jennings has been named to the Walter Payton Award watch list, an award given annually to the best offensive players in FCS football.

Rashad Jennings has been named to the Walter Payton Award watch list, an award given annually to the best offensive players in FCS football.

A plethora of preseason distinctions for Liberty's Rashad Jennings have culminated with one of the nation's top FCS honors, as the running back was named to the preseason Walter Payton Award watch list.

The preseason list of the 16 best FCS offensive players in the nation was announced today by the Sports Network, the organization which will conduct the voting for the prestigious honor. The selections included seven running backs, six quarterbacks and three wide receivers.

The Walter Payton Award watch list will be updated three times throughout the season, before voting takes place after the conclusion of the regular season. The list will be updated early in October and November before being finalized on Nov. 24.

The top three finalists will be announced by the Sports Network on Dec. 1, while the winner will be announced at the Sports Network FCS Awards Dinner, held on the eve of the NCAA Division I Football Championship game (Dec. 18).

Jennings (Sr., 6-1, 230, Forest, Va.) is Liberty's first-ever football player to land a spot on the Walter Payton Award watch list.

Already this year, the running back has been named the Big South Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, the Sports Network's preseason top running back and to two preseason All-America teams (Sports Network first-team, College Sporting News third-team).

Below is the full list of the Preseason 2008 Walter Payton Award watch list:
Ramses Barden, WR, Cal Poly, 6-5, 230, Sr.
Nathan Brown, QB, Central Arkansas, 6-2, 209, Sr.
Liam Coen, QB, Massachusetts, 6-2, 220, Sr.
Herb Donaldson, RB, Western Illinois, 5-11, 225, Sr.
Armanti Edwards, QB, Appalachian State, 6-0, 185, Jr.
Terrell Hudgins, WR, Elon, 6-3, 235, Jr.
Rashad Jennings, RB, Liberty, 6-1, 230, Sr.
Rodney Landers, QB, James Madison, 6-1, 220, Sr.
Corey Lewis, RB, Northern Iowa, 6-0, 197, Sr.
Mike McLeod, RB, Yale, 5-11, 200, Sr.
Matt Nicholls, QB, Eastern Washington, 6-2, 220, Jr.
Dominic Randolph, QB, Holy Cross, 6-3, 223, Sr.
Andre Roberts, WR, The Citadel, 5-11, 175, So.
Tyler Roehl, RB, North Dakota State, 5-10, 232, Sr.
Jordan Scott, RB, Colgate, 5-11, 205, Sr.
Javarris Williams, RB, Tennessee State, 5-11, 215, Sr.

Considered the Heisman Trophy of FCS football, the Walter Payton Award was named for the legendary Jackson State and Chicago Bears running back. It was established in 1987 by The Sports Network and is presented annually to the top offensive player in FCS football.

Previous winners of the honor include NFL standouts such as the Dallas Cowboys' Tony Romo (2002, Eastern Illinois), Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook (2001, Villanova) and quarterback Steve McNair formerly of the Baltimore Ravens (1994, Alcorn State).

Below is a complete list of the previous Walter Payton Award winners:
2007 – Jayson Foster, RB, Georgia Southern
Stats: 1,844 rushing yards, 24 rushing touchdowns, 1,203 passing yards, six touchdowns
2006 – Ricky Santos, QB, New Hampshire
Stats: 2,681 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, 385 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns
2005 – Erik Meyer, QB, Eastern Washington
Stats: 3,616 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, 166.47 passer rating (FCS record)
2004 – Lang Campbell, QB, William & Mary
Stats: 3,998 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, 317 rushing yards, seven touchdowns
2003 – Jamaal Branch, RB, Colgate
Stats: 2,326 rushing yards, 29 touchdowns
2002 – Tony Romo, QB, Eastern Illinois
Stats: 2,950 passing yards, 33 touchdowns
2001 – Brian Westbrook, RB, Villanova
Stats: 1,603 rushing yards, 50 receptions, 29 touchdowns
2000 – Louis Ivory, RB, Furman
Stats: 2,079 rushing yards, 16 touchdowns
1999 – Adrian Peterson, RB, Georgia Southern
Stats: 2,740 rushing yards, 40 touchdowns
1998 – Jerry Azumah, RB, New Hampshire
Stats: 2,195 rushing yards, 22 touchdowns
1997 – Brian Finneran, WR, Villanova
Stats: 1,389 receiving yards, 96 receptions, 19 touchdowns
1996 – Archie Amerson, RB, Northern Arizona
Stats: 2,079 rushing yards, 25 touchdowns
1995 – Dave Dickenson, QB, Montana
Stats: 4,176 passing yards, 38 touchdowns
1994 – Steve McNair, QB, Alcorn State
Stats: 5,377 passing yards, 47 touchdowns
1993 – Doug Nussmeier, QB, Idaho
Stats: 2,960 passing yards, 33 touchdowns
1992 – Michael Payton, QB, Marshall
Stats: 3,610 passing yards, 31 touchdowns
1991 – Jamie Martin, QB, Weber State
Stats: 4,125 passing yards, 37 touchdowns
1990 – Walter Dean, RB, Grambling State
Stats: 1,401 rushing yards, 17 touchdowns
1989 – John Friesz, QB, Idaho
Stats: 4,041 passing yards, 31 touchdowns
1988 – Dave Meggett, RB, Towson
Stats: 1,658 rushing yards, 788 receiving yards, 957 return yards, 30 total touchdowns
1987 – Kenny Gamble, RB, Colgate
Stats: 1,411 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns