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Four more Payton Award candidates announced by Sports Network
Randolph among four named to Payton watch list
Two-time Walter Payton Award finalist Dominic Randolph is one of four players who have been added to the 2009 Payton Award watch list, bestowed annually upon the top player in FCS.
Randolph has 9,689 yards passing and 83 touchdowns during his Holy Cross career. He finished 12th in 2007 and ninth in 2008 in the Payton Award voting.
Wide receiver Andre Roberts of The Citadel - another Payton finalist from 2008 - was also added to the watch list, along with Florida A&M quarterback Curtis Pulley and Montana running back Chase Reynolds.
These players join Appalachian State quarterback and 2008 Payton Award winner Armanti Edwards, Samford running back Chris Evans, South Carolina State running back William Ford, Northern Iowa quarterback Pat Grace, Weber State quarterback Cameron Higgins, Elon wide receiver Terrell Hudgins, Southern quarterback Bryant Lee, Albany running back David McCarty, Massachusetts running back Tony Nelson, Eastern Washington quarterback Matt Nichols, McNeese State running back Todd Pendland and Jacksonville State quarterback Ryan Perrilloux on the Payton Award watch list.
A total of 20 candidates will be announced in alphabetical order prior to the start of the season, with four candidates being released each week. The watch list will be revised in October and again in November before the final ballot is announced.
Voting from a panel of FCS sports information directors, writers, broadcasters and other football experts will be conducted after the regular season ends. Three finalists will be announced on Nov. 30 and will be invited to the 23rd annual Sports Network Awards banquet on Dec. 17 in Chattanooga, TN, the night prior to the NCAA Division I championship game. The Eddie Robinson Award (top FCS Coach) and Buck Buchanan Award (top FCS Defensive Player) will also be presented that night.
Here are complete biographies of the latest four players to be named to the Payton watch list:
Curtis Pulley, Florida A&M, Senior, 6-4, 200, Quarterback, Hopkinsville, KY
Pulley transferred from Kentucky before the 2008 season and paid immediate dividends for FAMU, throwing for 1,382 yards and 17 TDs in his first year. He also rushed for 885 yards and seven scores to earn first team All-MEAC honors. Pulley took some time to learn the FAMU system, but he came on strong to rank 14th nationally in passing efficiency. The multi-skilled performer rushed for 100 or more yards four times including a career-high 171 yards against Bethune-Cookman and three scores in a 45-24 win over Hampton. Pulley threw for a career-high 252 yards and three scores in a 31-28 win over Norfolk State. Pulley ranked 49th in FCS rushing with an 80 yards-per-game average.
Dominic Randolph, Holy Cross, Senior, 6-3, 223, Quarterback, Amelia, OH
Randolph topped his 2007 totals (3,604 yards passing, 30 TDs) by passing for 3,838 yards and 34 TDs in 2008, and was named the Patriot League’ offensive player of the year for the second consecutive year. Randolph, also a Sports Network honorable mention All-American, led the nation with 356 yards of total offense per game and ranked 23rd nationally in passing efficiency (142.42), setting a school record. The Amelia, OH native ranks first in career completion percentage at Holy Cross (63%). Randolph threw for 400 yards three times including a season-high 430 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-34 win against Brown.
Chase Reynolds, Montana, Junior, 6-0, 190, Running Back, Drummond, MT
Reynolds was moved from wideout to running back prior to the 2008 season, and rushed for 1,622 yards on 281 carries (5.6 average.) and 22 TDs, a school record. An improving receiver, Reynolds also caught 17 passes for 173 yards in helping to lead the Grizzlies to the national championship game and a share of the Big Sky title. He earned honorable mention honors on The Sports Network All-America team for his record-setting season. Reynolds rushed for 100 or more yards in eight consecutive games, including a career-high 233 yards in a 31-13 playoff-win over Texas State. In a 35-27 semifinal win over James Madison, Reynolds rushed for 123 yards and two TDs, while catching three balls for 50 yards and another score. The Drummond, MT native and former eight-man prep football standout ranked 14th nationally in scoring and 30th with 98 rushing yards per game in 2008.
Andre Roberts, The Citadel, Senior, 5-11, 175, Wide Receiver, Columbia, S.C.
Roberts exceeded his All-American sophomore campaign by grabbing 95 passes for 1,334 yards and 14 touchdowns en route to first-team Sports Network All- American honors in 2008. His 95 catches bettered the school record that he set with 78 catches in 2007, and his 1,334 yards receiving as a junior established another school mark. Roberts posted three outings with 10 or more catches last season, including a 14-grab, 190-yard effort against Wofford. He continued to excel as a punt returner as well, with 461 yards and a 19.2 average to lead the nation. The Columbia, SC native has logged 208 catches for 2,951 yards and 29 touchdowns during his first three seasons. Roberts was a Payton Award finalist last season, finishing 13th in balloting.