Written by Mike Flynn
Monday, 04 October 2010 12:37
Appalachian State University quarterback DeAndre Presley has been added to the official watch list for the 2010 Walter Payton Award, The Sports Network announced on Monday.
Presley is one of 20 players on the official watch list for the 24th Payton Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top NCAA Division I FCS player. The junior’s inclusion on the list marks the fifth time in seven years that Appalachian’s starting quarterback is an official candidate for the FCS version of the Heisman Trophy. Armanti Edwards became the first two-time winner in the 23-year history of the Payton Award in 2008 and 2009 while Richie Williams finished 15th and sixth in balloting for the honor in 2004 and 2005, respectively.
In his first season as a starter, Presley ranks among the nation’s top 10 in points responsible for (tied for first — 21 points/game), passing efficiency (third — 168.35 rating) and total offense (eighth — 294 yards/game) and has claimed SoCon Player-of-the-Week recognition twice in four games this season. He was named the SoCon and national Offensive Player of the Week after accounting for 365 yards of total offense and four touchdowns in leading Appalachian to a 42-41 come-from-behind triumph in the season opener at Chattanooga and earned SoCon recognition again two weeks ago when he racked up 273 yards of offense and was responsible for four more touchdowns in a 35-17 rout at Samford.
After torching Jacksonville for 386 total yards in week two, Presley became the first player in school history to account for at least 300 yards of offense in three of his first four career starts. By comparison, it took Edwards 10 starts to reach the 300-yard plateau three times and Williams needed 18 starts to compile 300 yards of total offense three times. Steve Brown (1977-80), who held the vast majority of ASU’s total offense records prior to the Williams and Edwards eras, needed 16 starts to achieve the feat.
Presley has also not thrown an interception over the first four games of the season, making him the first ASU starting signal-caller to achieve the feat since Todd Payton in 1986.
Making his accomplishments even more impressive is the fact that Presley has been removed early from three of the Mountaineers’ first four games after leading the squad to comfortable advantages.
The Sports Network also released its first revision of the official watch list for the 2010 Buck Buchanan and ASU’s three preseason candidates — defensive end Jabari Fletcher, defensive back Mark LeGree and linebacker D.J. Smith — all remain among the 20 players under consideration for the Buchanan Award, which recognizes the nation’s top FCS defensive player.
ASU running back Devon Moore, who battled a leg injury throughout fall camp and early in the regular season, was removed from the Payton Award watch list.
A second revision of both lists will be made on Oct. 25 and the final ballot will be sent to voters on Nov. 22. The awards will be presented on Jan. 6, 2011, in Frisco, Texas.