PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network) An updated list of 32 players has been established by The Sports Network, I-AA college football's most widely recognized information service, indicating the current and official "Payton Watch" and "Buchanan Battle" members. The "Payton Watch" and "Buchanan Battle" pages, which can be found at The Sports Network's website (www.sportsnetwork.com) keep track of the quest for the 18th Walter Payton Award, presented annually to the top player in I-AA football, and the 10th Buck Buchanan Award, which goes to the top defensive player in I-AA. The honors will be presented at the 18th annual I-AA College Football Awards on Thursday, December 16th in Chattanooga, TN, on the eve of the 2004 I-AA National Championship. The Eddie Robinson Award, honoring I-AA's top coach, and the Sports Network Cup, bestowed upon the nation's best I-AA mid-major program, will also be presented on Dec. 16th.
Seven new players grace the updated "Payton Watch" list, and three revisions have been made to the "Buchanan Battle" list. On the Payton Watch, quarterbacks Martin Hankins (Southeastern Louisiana), Dustin Long (Sam Houston State) and Ricky Santos (New Hampshire) as well as running backs Clifton Dawson (Harvard), Derek Farmer (Stephen F. Austin) and Travis Glasford (Western Illinois) and wide receiver Davon Fowlkes (Appalachian State) have been selected as potential candidates. For the Buchanan, defensive end Tom Alfsen (Lehigh) and linebackers William Freeeman (Furman) and Charles Thompson (Western Kentucky) have been added to the list.
The official "Payton Watch" and "Buchanan Battle" lists will undergo two additional revisions prior to the distribution of ballots on November 22nd. The next revisions will be announced November 3rd, and the final changes will be made just prior to the distribution of ballots. The ballots will be mailed electronically to the media and I-AA sports information directors selected for the voting process on November 22nd, and will be due Wednesday, November 24th. The top three finalists (in terms of votes received) for the Walter Payton Award will be invited to attend the presentation in Chattanooga, TN, with the winner of that Award not announced until the event.
Following are the 32 current members of both the "Payton Watch" and "Buchanan Battle" lists, with additional information on each player, as well as history and facts about each of the I-AA awards, available at www.sportsnetwork.com.
"Payton Watch" Candidates (Oct. 6)
Charles Anthony, RB, Tennessee State
Jamaal Branch, RB, Colgate
Alvin Cowan, QB, Yale
*Clifton Dawson, RB, Harvard
*Derek Farmer, RB, Stephen F. Austin
*Davon Fowlkes, WR, Appalachian State
*Travis Glasford, RB, Western Illinois
*Martin Hankins, QB, Southeastern Louisiana
Efrem Hill, WR, Samford
Vincent Jackson, WR, Northern Colorado
*Dustin Long, QB, Sam Houston State
Erik Meyer, QB, Eastern Washington
Jason Murrietta, QB, Northern Arizona
Craig Ochs, QB, Montana
*Ricky Santos, QB, New Hampshire
Marcus Williams, RB, Maine
"Buchanan Battle" Candidates (Oct. 6)
*Tom Alfsen, DE, Lehigh
Lee Basinger, DL, Wofford
Jordan Beck, LB, Cal Poly
Antoine Bethea, DB, Howard
Roger Cooper, LB, Montana State
Nick DiPadova, LB, Southern Utah
Liam Ezekiel, LB, Northeastern
Brady Fosmark, DL, Weber State
*William Freeman, LB, Furman
Boomer Grigsby, LB, Illinois State