PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Freshman tailback Terrance West of No. 8 Towson University, the third-leading rusher in NCAA FCS, has been added to the Walter Payton Award Watch List, it has been announced by The Sports Network.
The 25th Walter Payton Award will honor the most outstanding player in the Football Championship Division. The award is presented by The Sports Network and sponsored by Fathead.com.
West, who is one of the leading candidates for the Jerry Rice Award which is presented to the top freshman in NCAA FCS, has led the Tigers to an amazing turnaround this season. The Tigers, who were 1-10 last season, enter Saturday's regular season finale at Rhode Island with an 8-2 record and a 6-1 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. If the Tigers beat Rhode Island on Saturday, they are guaranteed a share of the CAA championship.
West leads NCAA FCS with a school record 25 touchdowns in nine games. He has rushed for 1,190 yards on 164 carries. While averaging 7.3 yards per carry, he already owns the third-highest single season rushing total in school history.
West is joined on the Walter Payton Award Watch List by running back Shakir Bell of Indiana State, fullback Eric Breitenstein of Wofford, quarterback Casey Brockman of Murray State, running back Jordan Brown of Bryant, quarterback Mike Brown of Liberty, running back Jamaine Cook of Youngstown State, quarterback Kevin Decker of New Hampshire, running back Tim Flanders of Sam Houston State, running back Jonathan Grimes of William and Mary, quarterback Chris Lum of Lehigh, quarterback Denarius McGhee of Montana State, wide receiver Aaron Mellette of Elon, quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell of Eastern Washington, running back Andrew Pierce of Delaware, wide receiver Brian Quick of Appalachian State, quarterback Tirrell Rennie of Northern Iowa, wide receiver Rodrick Rumble of Idaho State, quarterback Brad Sorensen of Southern Utah, and quarterback Casey Therrriault of Jackson State.
West is the only freshman on the list.
The Walter Payton Award was established by The Sports Network in 1987 and it is presented annually to the most outstanding college football player on the FCS level. The winner is chosen by a nationwide panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries from the division. When the award was established, it was the only such award to be presented to an individual player in FCS football.
Former Tiger All-American David Meggett was the second Payton Award winner, earning the honor in 1988. Among the other notable winners are Steve McNair of Alcorn State in 1994, running back Brian Westbrook of Villanova in 2001 and quarterback Tony Romo of Eastern Illinois in 2002.
West has been named as the Colonial Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Week twice this season in addition to winning the CAA Rookie of the Week award four times. He has also been selected as the National Freshman of the Week by The Sports Network three times.