Nov. 13, 2012. Appalachian State University quarterback Jamal Jackson (Atlanta, Ga./North Atlanta) has been added to the official 20-player watch list for the 2012 Walter Payton Award, The Sports Network announced on Tuesday.
The Walter Payton Award is the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. The 26th-annual Payton Award will be voted on next week by a nationwide media panel with the winner announced on Dec. 17 in Philadelphia.
Jackson ranks among the nation’s top 30 in virtually every category for a quarterback with 2,905 passing yards (ninth – 264.1 ypg), 3,239 yards of total offense (12th – 294.5 ypg), a 146.2 pass-efficiency rating (18th), 235 completions (22nd – 21.4 pg) and 144 points responsible for (29th – 13.1 pg) and leads the Southern Conference in passing yardage and total offense.
The junior is also on the verge of nearly every single-season passing record in Appalachian State history, needing just 386 yards, 22 completions, one 200-yard game and two 3J00-yard games to match the school record in each category. The current Appalachian records of 3,291 passing yards, 257 completions and 10 200-yard passing games were all set by Armanti Edwards when he won the second of his two Walter Payton Awards in 2009. Edwards remains as the only two-time winner in the 26-year history of the award.
Jackson’s inclusion on the latest official watch list almost certainly assures that at least one Mountaineer will be a Payton Award finalist for the ninth-straight year.
In addition to Jackson, Appalachian State linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough (Decatur, Ga./Cedar Grove) and cornerback Demetrius McCray (Covington, Ga./Newton) are on The Sports Network’s official watch list for the 2012 Buck Buchanan Award (FCS Defensive Player of the Year) and wide receiver Sean Price (Reston, Va./South Lakes) is widely considered as a frontrunner for the 2012 Jerry Rice Award (FCS Freshman of the Year). Like the Payton Award, the Buchanan and Rice Awards will be presented on Dec. 17 in Philadelphia.