Jackson State QB Shedeur Sanders Named To Walter Payton Award Watch List As Top Offensive Player In FCS

By Duane Lewis, Jackson State Sports Media


Jackson State quarterback Shedeur Sanders has been named to the Walter Payton Award Watch List as the best offensive player in the nation in FCS Football.

Sanders (6-2, 215; So. Canton, Texas) is coming off a banner freshman season in which he won the Stats Perform Jerry Rice Award as the nation’s top freshman.

It was one of several awards Sanders won in leading Jackson State football to its first Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship since 2007. Sanders was also the BOXTOROW National Impact Player Of The Year, SWAC Freshman of the Year, and a second-team All-SWAC selection. Additionally, Sanders was a four-time SWAC Newcomer of the Week and earned both SWAC Offensive Player of the Week and FCS National Freshman of the Week honors during the 2021 season.

Sanders, who was named 2022 SWAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year as well as a first-team All-SWAC selection, led the conference in completions (272) and completion percentage (65.9) ranked second in passing yards (3,231) and passing touchdowns (30). Sanders posted nine multi-TD passing games (two 2-TD, five 3-TD, two 4-TD) and three 300+ yard passing games as he led JSU to a school-record 11 wins.

First awarded in 1987, the Walter Payton Award, named after the Jackson State football legend, College Football Hall of Famer and Pro Football Hall of Famer, has watched past recipients such as Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Brian Westbrook, Jimmy Garoppolo, Cooper Kupp and Trey Lance move on to the NFL.

Jackson State opens the season in the Orange Blossom Classic against Florida A&M on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 2 p.m. CT in Miami Gardens, Fla. on ESPN2.

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A lifelong sports fan and follower of HBCUs, Willie Alexander Hines is an expert on any sport with tremendous recall of history and newsmakers.