Three Southern Conference performers have been named to the Walter Payton watch list for this coming season.
Leading the way is Appalachian State running back Devon Moore. The senior, who is expected to have an even bigger role for the Mountaineers this fall with the departure of Armanti Edwards (the only two time Walter Payton Award winner in its 24-year history), led the Southern Conference in rushing yardage last season.
He amassed 1,374 yards and was ranked fifth nationally in terms of total rushing yards. He averaged 98 yards rushing-per-game ranking him second in the SoCon and 13th nationally in that category. Moore also scored 19 rushing touchdowns, which ranks him fourth on the all-time list for a single- season total in ASU history. And he also caught 36 passes for 282 yards and was a first-team All-SoCon selection.
Moore is also one of 11 2,000-yard rushers in school history with 2,271 yards in his career.
Quarterback Scott Riddle of Elon and running back Chris Evans of Samford join Moore on the watch list. Riddle, a senior, finished 23rd in the Payton voting last fall. He threw for 3.345 yards and 23 touchdowns last season, averaging 279 yards-per-game. For his career, Riddle has thrown for 10,033 yards making him the leader at the FCS level in that category.
Evans, a three-year starter for the Bulldogs, run for 1,152 yards last season, and he has 3,469 yards in his career. He has led the Southern Conference in rushing his first two years in the league (he averaged 105 yards a game last season), and he is also the first Samford player to rush for more than a 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons with the program.
The Payton Award is in its 24th season and will be presented on Thursday, January 6 in Frisco, Texas - the night prior to the FCS National Championship Game. The Payton Award Watch List will be revised during the 2010 season. Updated lists will be announced on October 4 and 25.
2010 WALTER PAYTON AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST
K.J. Black, Prairie View A&M, QB, Senior
Thomas DeMarco, Old Dominion, QB, Junior
Pat Devlin, Delaware, QB, Senior
Chris Evans, Samford, RB, Senior
Jonathan Grimes, William & Mary, RB, Junior
Michael Herrick, Northern Arizona, QB, Senior
Cameron Higgins, Weber State, QB, Senior
Ben Ijalana, Villanova, OT, Senior
Taiwan Jones, Eastern Washington, RB, Junior
Malcolm Long, South Carolina State, QB, Senior
Kyle Minett, South Dakota State, RB, Senior
Devon Moore, Appalachian State, RB, Senior
Jeremy Moses, Stephen F. Austin, QB, Senior
Tysson Poots, Southern Utah, WR, Senior
Chase Reynolds, Montana, RB, Senior
Scott Riddle, Elon, QB, Senior
Andrew Selle, Montana, QB, Senior
Matt Szczur, Villanova, WR, Senior
Steve Valentino, Dayton, QB, Senior
Chris Whitney, Villanova, QB, Senior