Payton Award shows experienced field
Total of 12 finalists from 2011 are among 20-player watch list
Last Updated - July 13, 2012 9:53 GMT
Among the 20 players selected to the Walter Payton Award watch list, 12 are returning finalists from 2011.
The award is given annually to the most outstanding player in the Football Championship Subdivision by The Sports Network, which released the watch list on Thursday. Among the finalists from a year ago who return for another shot at the award are: Shakir Bell (Indiana State), Eric Breitenstein (Wofford), Casey Brockman (Murray State), Jordan Brown (Bryant), Jamaine Cook (Youngstown State), Timothy Flanders (Sam Houston State), DeNarius McGhee (Montana State), Aaron Mellette (Elon), Andrew Pierce (Delaware), Rodrick Rumble (Idaho State), Brad Sorensen (Southern Utah) and Terrance West (Towson).
McGhee is already a two-time finalist for the top FCS award. He finished in the top 10 as a redshirt-freshman and was in the top 15 as a sophomore last year.
Two teams have two players each on the initial watch list. The 2011 national runner-up, Sam Houston State is represented by Flanders and Richard Sincere while Youngstown State boasts Jamaine Cook and Kurt Hess.
Half of the field is made up of running backs, including the lone fullback Eric Breitenstein of Wofford, while six quarterbacks are also in the mix with three receivers. Sincere is the only all-purpose runner in the initial group after splitting time last season at wide receiver and running back.
The award is one of three major FCS player awards given out each year by The Sports Network. A defensive player of the year (Buck Buchanan Award) and freshman of the year (Jerry Rice Award) will be handed out at the end of the season as well, along with the Eddie Robinson Award for the coach of the year.
POS PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR RB Zach Bauman Northern Arizona Junior RB Shakir Bell Indiana State Junior FB Eric Breitenstein Wofford Senior QB Casey Brockman Murray State Senior RB Jordan Brown Bryant Senior RB Jamaine Cook Youngstown State Senior RB Matt Denham Eastern Kentucky Senior RB Timothy Flanders Sam Houston State Junior QB Taylor Heineke Old Dominion Sophomore QB Kurt Hess Youngstown State Junior QB Jeff Mathews Cornell Junior RB Miguel Maysohet Stony Brook Senior QB Denarius McGhee Montana State Junior WR Aaron Mellette Elon Senior RB Andrew Pierce Delaware Junior WR Rodrick Rumble Idaho State Junior AP Richard Sincere Sam Houston State Junior QB Brad Sorenson Southern Utah Senior WR Ryan Spadola Lehigh Senior RB Terrance West Towson Sophomore