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35 Offensive Stars land on the Walter Payton Award Watch List

Walter Payton Award Watch List
Can Jackson State Quarterback Shedeur Sanders #2 win the prestigious Walter Payton Award and return the Award home to Walter’s stomping ground?

The Walter Payton Award goes to the best offensive player in FCS football, and was first awarded back in 1987, the Payton has watched past recipients such as Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Brian Westbrook, Jimmy Garoppolo, Cooper Kupp and Trey Lance move on to the NFL.  This year, 35 prospects in the FCS have made the list, and one player to keep an eye on is Deion Sanders son Shedeur Sanders at Jackson State! If you click on the names below with a link you can learn more about them through our prospect interviews!


Nic Baker, Southern Illinois, Jr., 5-9, 194
Tim DeMorat, Fordham, Gr., 6-4, 220 (2020 and 2021 Finalist)
Nick Howard, Dartmouth, Sr., 6-2, 230.
Parker McKinney, Eastern Kentucky, R-Jr., 6-3, 208
Tommy Mellot, Montana State, So., 6-0, 195
Shedeur Sanders, Jackson State, So., 6-2, 215
Lindsey Scott Jr., UIW, Sr., 5-11, 220
Trae Self, Stephen F. Austin, Sr., 6-4, 190
Jason Shelley, Missouri State, Sr., 5-11, 197 (2021 Finalist)
Xavier Shepherd, Kennesaw State, Jr., 6-0, 205 (2021 Finalist)
Reece Udinski, Richmond, Gr., 6-4, 220

Running Back

Jake Chisholm, Dayton, Sr., 5-9, 191 (2021 Finalist)
Isaiah Davis, South Dakota State, Jr., 6-1, 220
Juwon Farri, Monmouth, R-Sr., 5-10, 195 (2020 Finalist)
Ailym Ford, Chattanooga, Jr., 5-9, 213
Narii Gaither, Gardner-Webb, Sr., 5-10, 181
Ulonzo Gilliam Jr., UC Davis, Sr., 5-9, 189
Malik Grant, Sacred Heart, Sr., 5-9, 200 (2021 Finalist)
Julien Gums, Nicholls, Sr., 5-10, 230
Darius Hale, Central Arkansas, So., 5-11, 225
Geno Hess, Southeast Missouri, Sr., 5-8, 209 (2021 Finalist)
Isaiah Ifanse, Montana State, Sr., 5-10, 202 (2021 Finalist)
Hunter Luepke, North Dakota State, Sr., 6-1, 236
Jaleel McLaughlin, Youngstown State, Sr., 5-9, 195
Jacob Saylors, ETSU, Sr., 5-11, 195

Wide Receiver

Avante Cox, Southern Illinois, Sr., 5-10, 170
Shaquan Davis, South Carolina State, R-Jr., 6-5, 215
Xavier Gipson, Stephen F. Austin, Sr., 5-9, 170 (2021 Finalist)
Taylor Grimes, UIW, Sr., 5-11, 190
Jakob Herres, Richmond, Gr., 6-4, 225 (2020 Finalist)
Jaxon Janke, South Dakota State, Sr., 6-3, 210
Xavier Smith, Florida A&M, Gr., 5-10, 170

Tight End

Kemari Averett, Bethune-Cookman, Sr., 6-6, 260
Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State, Jr., 6-5, 255
Ryan Miller, Furman, R-Sr., 6-2, 221

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at [email protected]

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