HILADELPHIA, 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 19th Walter Payton Award, presented annually to the most outstanding player in I-AA football, and the 11th Buck Buchanan Award, which goes to the top defensive player in I-AA. The honors will be presented at the 19th annual I-AA College Football Awards on Thursday, December 15th in Chattanooga, TN, on the eve of the 2005 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. 15th.
The 16 candidates on the Payton Watch list hold their spots through the revision. On the Buchanan list, linebacker Cameron Siskowic (Illinois State) and defensive back Jay McCareins (Princeton) have been added to the list.
The official "Payton Watch" and "Buchanan Battle" lists will undergo one more revision just prior to the distribution of ballots on November 21st. The ballots will be mailed electronically to the media and I-AA sports information directors selected for the voting process on November 21st, and will be due Wednesday, November 23rd. 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 (Nov. 2) Jermaine Austin, RB, Georgia Southern; David Ball, WR, New Hampshire; Omar Cuff, RB, Delaware; Clifton Dawson, RB, Harvard; Bruce Eugene, QB, Grambling State; Nick Hartigan, RB, Brown; Lex Hilliard, RB, Montana; Travis Lulay, QB, Montana State; Ingle Martin, QB, Furman; Erik Meyer, QB, Eastern Washington; Barrick Nealy, QB, Texas State; Joe Rubin, RB, Portland State; Joel Sambursky, QB, Southern Illinois; Ricky Santos, QB, New Hampshire; Steve Silva, RB, Holy Cross; Richie Williams, QB, Appalachian State.
"Buchanan Battle" Candidates (Nov. 2) Maurice Bennett, LB, Lafayette; Jeff Charleston, DE, Idaho State; Zak DeOssie, LB, Brown; Reed Doughty, S, Northern Colorado; Justin Durant, LB, Hampton; Brady Fosmark, DE, Weber State; William Freeman, LB, Furman; Chris Gocong, DE, Cal Poly; Brent Hawkins, DE, Illinois State; Brian Hulea, LB, Villanova; Shannon James, S, Massachusetts; *Jay McCareins, DB, Princeton; Marques Murrell, DE, Appalachian State; Chad Nkang, LB, Elon; *Cameron Siskowic, LB, Illinois State; Antonio Thomas, CB, Western Kentucky.
* = new candidate