Published January 08, 2015
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - They might be on opposite coasts, but James Madison quarterback Vad Lee and Sacramento State wide receiver DeAndre Carter share common ground.
Both wear jersey No. 2.
Both are finishing the regular season with a flourish.
Both seem to set a school record with every game.
And on Tuesday, Lee and Carter were both added to the Walter Payton Award Watch List.
The 28th annual Payton Award, presented by The Sports Network, will be bestowed on the outstanding player in the FCS on Dec. 15 at the national awards banquet.
The two new additions:
Vad Lee, QB, James Madison, Jr., 6-1, 225, Durham, North Carolina
A former starter from Georgia Tech, Lee transferred to JMU with the hope that he would be utilized more as a passer. Oh, has he. He set a school record with 406 passing yards against Villanova and then bettered the mark with 433 yards against Richmond this past Saturday. It's all added up to a single-season school record of 3,066 passing yards. The dual-threat signal caller also has 741 yards and seven TDs on the ground and ranks third in the FCS in total offense with 346.1 yards per game. He has guided the Dukes to six straight wins and into contention for an FCS playoff berth.
DeAndre Carter, WR, Sacramento State, 5-10, 185, San Jose, California
Carter has set Sac State single-season records for receptions (90) and touchdown receptions (16) and is 79 yards shy of the receiving yardage mark with 1,200 yards heading into the Hornets' final game. He leads the FCS in all three receiving categories. The playmaker had the biggest game in his career when he caught 16 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns against Southern Utah on Nov. 8, earning The Sports Network FCS Co-Offensive Player of the Week honor. He has 33 career touchdown receptions, another school record.
Other players on the Walter Payton Award Watch List are quarterbacks Vernon Adams Jr. of Eastern Washington, Justin Arias of Idaho State, Bryan Bennett of Southeastern Louisiana, Jacob Huesman of Chattanooga, Dakota Prukop of Montana State, John Robertson of Villanova and Alex Ross of Coastal Carolina; running backs Marshaun Coprich of Illinois State, Malcolm Cyrus of Alabama State, Khairi Dickson of Saint Francis (Pa.), Chase Edmonds of Fordham, Rob Hollomon of Central Connecticut State, DaMarcus James of Jacksonville State, David Johnson of Northern Iowa, Gus Johnson of Stephen F. Austin, Connor Kacsor of Dayton, Dy'Shawn Mobley of Eastern Kentucky, Tyler Varga of Yale, Herb Walker Jr. of Morgan State and Zach Zenner of South Dakota State; wide receivers R.J. Harris of New Hampshire and Cooper Kupp of Eastern Washington; and tight end MyCole Pruitt of Southern Illinois.
Ballots for the Walter Payton Award Watch List will be sent to a national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries following the regular season. The top three vote- getters will be invited to the national awards banquet.
The Sports Network also presents the Buck Buchanan, Jerry Rice and Eddie Robinson awards. The Buchanan Award honors the outstanding defensive player in the FCS, the Rice Award goes to the FCS freshman of the year and the Robinson Award is bestowed upon the FCS coach of the year.
The 2014 FCS Awards package can be found at http://tinyurl.com/n5ysh8x.