Ballots Mailed for Payton, Buchanan, Robinson Awards

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network) - The race for the top player, defensive player, and coach in I-AA college football took a final step on Monday as ballots for the 2002 Walter Payton Award, Buck Buchanan Award, and Eddie Robinson Award were mailed to all voters.

The ballots, which were sent to media and I-AA sports information directors selected for the voting process, will be due via fax by Monday, December 2nd. The top three finalists (in terms of votes received) for the Walter Payton Award will be invited to attend the presentation of the Awards, with the winner of that Award not announced until the event.

The 16th Annual I-AA College Football Awards will be held Dec. 19th in Chattanooga, TN, on the eve of the NCAA I-AA national championship.

Two players have been added to the 16-member Walter Payton Award ballot since the most recent "Payton Watch" revision on October 30th, while the list of 16 Buck Buchanan Award finalists features three new names. Fordham running back Kirwin Watson and Georgia Southern quarterback Chaz Williams have been selected as Payton finalists, while Illinois State linebacker Boomer Grigsby, Northwestern State defensive end Roy Locks, and Alabama A&M defensive end Robert Mathis have been selected as Buchanan finalists.

Following are the 32 players and 16 coaches appearing on the 2002 Walter Payton, Buck Buchanan, and Eddie Robinson Award ballots. Additional information on each player, as well as history and facts about each of the I-AA awards, is available at

2002 Walter Payton Award Finalists
David Corley, QB, William & Mary
John Edwards, QB, Montana
Bruce Eugene, QB, Grambling State
Ryan Fuqua, RB, Portland State
Chas Gessner, WR, Brown
Brett Gordon, QB, Villanova
Ryan Johnson, RB, Montana State
Stephan Lewis, RB, New Hampshire
P.J. Mays, RB, Youngstown State
Carl Morris, WR, Harvard
Billy Napier, QB, Furman
Willie Ponder, WR, Southeast Missouri
Tony Romo, QB, Eastern Illinois
Allen Suber, QB, Bethune-Cookman
*Kirwin Watson, RB, Fordham
*Chaz Williams, QB, Georgia Southern

2002 Buck Buchanan Award Finalists
Dante Balestracci, LB, Harvard
Stephen Cooper, LB, Maine
*Boomer Grigsby, LB, Illinois State
Josh Jeffries, DE, Appalachian State
Mark Kasmer, S, Dayton
*Roy Locks, DE, Northwestern State
Rashean Mathis, S, Bethune-Cookman
*Robert Mathis, DE, Alabama A&M
Dan Mulhern, LB, Delaware
Freddy Pesqueira, DT, Georgia Southern
Greg Pitts, LB, Southwest Texas
Hadley Prince, S, McNeese State
Nick Ricks, LB, Eastern Illinois
Lee Russell, LB, Western Illinois
Tracy White, LB, Howard
Trey Young, S, Montana

2002 Eddie Robinson Award Finalists
Mike Ayers, Wofford
Al Bagnoli, Pennsylvania
Tim Billings, Southeast Missouri
Don Brown, Northeastern
Dave Clawson, Fordham
Joe Glenn, Montana
Anthony Jones, Alabama A&M
Mike Kramer, Montana State
Larry Lewis, Idaho State
Joe Pannunzio, Murray State
Don Patterson, Western Illinois
Mike Sewak, Georgia Southern
Andy Talley, Villanova
Tommy Tate, McNeese State
Doug Williams, Grambling State
Alvin Wyatt, Bethune-Cookman

*added to list since last Payton/Buchanan revision on Oct. 30

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