Each award, presented by The Sports Network and sponsored by Fathead.com, features a stellar 20-player Watch List that will be pared to winners of the Football Championship Subdivision's top individual honors. The Payton Award is bestowed on the outstanding player in the FCS and the Buchanan Award goes to the outstanding defensive player in the FCS.
The award winners will be announced at the national awards banquet on Thursday, Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas - the night before the national championship game.
Warren, 5-foot-9, 200 pounds, has become Grambling State's first 1,000-yard rusher since 2001 (he has 1,142 yards in seven games) and is on pace to pass Eric Gant's school records for rushing yards in a season and a career. He is second in the FCS in rushing yards per game (163.1) and has scored 12 total touchdowns.
Warren joins the Payton Award Watch List alongside quarterbacks Mike Brown of Liberty, Thomas DeMarco of Old Dominion, Pat Devlin of Delaware, Michael Herrick of Northern Arizona, Cameron Higgins of Weber State, Jeremy Moses of Stephen F. Austin, DeAndre Presley of Appalachian State, Scott Riddle of Elon, Casey Therriault of Jackson State, Steve Valentino of Dayton and Chris Whitney of Villanova; running backs Nate Eachus of Colgate, Chris Evans of Samford, Jonathan Grimes of William & Mary, Taiwan Jones of Eastern Washington, Kyle Minett of South Dakota State and Chase Reynolds of Montana; wide receiver Tysson Poots of Southern Utah; and offensive tackle Ben Ijalana of Villanova.
Other nominees were quarterbacks K.J. Black of Prairie View A&M, Malcolm Long of South Carolina State and Andrew Selle of Montana; running back Devon Moore of Appalachian State; and wide receiver Matt Szczur of Villanova.
Russell, 6-2, 287, wrecks havoc on opposing offenses as one of the more feared defensive linemen in the nation. Only a sophomore, his specialty is getting into opposing backfields. Through Georgia Southern's first seven games, Russell has 28 tackles, including 7.5 for losses and 4.5 sacks.
Russell joins the Buchanan Award Watch List alongside defensive tackles Kenrick Ellis of Hampton and Martin Parker of Richmond; defensive ends Jabari Fletcher of Appalachian State and Malcolm Taylor of Alcorn State; linebackers Tyler Holmes of Massachusetts, Eric McBride of Richmond, J.C. Sherritt of Eastern Washington (last year's runner-up for the award), Bryce Smith of Samford, D.J. Smith of Appalachian State, Terence Thomas of Villanova, Antoine Wilkinson of Missouri State and Jabara Williams of Stephen F. Austin; cornerbacks Jeremy Caldwell of Eastern Kentucky, Korey Lindsey of Southern Illinois, Trumaine Johnson of Montana and Justin Rogers of Richmond; and safeties Mark LeGree of Appalachian State, Eugene Clifford of Tennessee State and James Vercammen of Dayton.
Other nominees were defensive ends Christian Anthony of Grambling State and Christian Clark of Sacramento State as well as safeties Jason House of Southern University and Mike McElroy of Southern Illinois.
Ballots for the Payton and Buchanan awards - as well as the Eddie Robinson Award which honors the FCS coach of the year - will be sent to a panel of over 175 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries after the regular season on Nov. 22.
The Robinson Award also is presented by The Sports Network and sponsored by Fathead.com.