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Payton Award to be presented prior to opener
Former Jackson State and NFL star Walter Payton will have another award presented in his honor when JSU and Hampton play in the fourth annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge in Orlando, Fla., on Aug. 31. The two teams kick off at 1 p.m. inside the Citrus Bowl.
The challenge will present the Walter Payton Achievement Award for the first time this year to players who stand out in the classroom and on the playing field.
JSU linebacker Marcus Smith and Hampton wideout Kevin Teel have been selected to receive the award at a kickoff banquet Aug. 29. Payton’s son, Jarrett, a former University of Miami and current Montreal Alouettes running back, will present the award and former Grambling and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Doug Williams will serve as the keynote speaker.
“This award is special,” Jarrett, 27, told meacswacchallenge.com. “When you think about awards being named after someone, you had to have done something significant. My dad finished his degree in three years, which shows that he was a student first and athlete second.
“He really showed that if you work hard, it doesn’t matter where you’re from.”
Prized football recruit Dominick Britt has been on campus for two weeks and is enrolled in two summer classes. He took a short break this weekend to go home for the holiday. Some rumors had swirled whether the 6-foot-4, 175-pound three-star quarterback from Trotwood-Madison (Ohio) HS would make it down due to academic concerns.
Since arriving in Jackson, Britt said he has been working out with strength and conditioning coach Derek Scott at 5 a.m., taking music and history classes, studying the playbook and watching Hampton film in preparation for the season opener.
Kareem Copeland • firstname.lastname@example.org • July 6, 2008