Senior Safety Reed Doughty on Buck Buchanan Award Battle List
Philadelphia (Sports Network) - University of Northern Colorado senior safety Reed Doughty has been chosen as one of 16 players on The Sports Network's Buck Buchanan Battle list. The award is presented at the end of the season to the nation's best I-AA defensive player.
Doughty will become a four-year starter for the Bears when the season begins next Saturday (Sept. 3) against Colorado Mines. Doughty carries a perfect 4.0 grade point average off the field and is one of only eight Northern Colorado players ever selected as an Academic All-American. On the field, Doughty has been one of the Bears' finest players the past three seasons. He ranks seventh on the Bears' all-time tackles list with 307 total stops. Doughty has tallied 10 career interceptions and has been listed on numerous preseason publications as a I-AA All-American.
Last season, Northern Colorado wide receiver Vincent Jackson finished tied for 12th in the Walter Payton Award voting. The Walter Payton Award is presented to the nation's best I-AA offensive player.
A total of 32 players have been chosen by The Sports Network, I-AA college football's most widely recognized information service, as official "Payton Watch" and "Buchanan Battle" members. The "Payton Watch" and "Buchanan Battle" pages, which can be found at The Sports Network's website (www.sportsnetwork.com) keep track of the quest for the 19th Walter Payton Award, presented annually to the top player in I-AA football, and the 11th Buck Buchanan Award, which goes to the top defensive player in I-AA. The honors will be presented at the 19th annual I-AA College Football Awards on Thursday, December 15th. The Eddie Robinson Award, honoring I-AA's top coach, and the Sports Network Cup, bestowed upon the nation's best I-AA mid-major program, will also be presented on Dec. 15th.
Ten players who appeared on last year's Walter Payton Award Watch are among this year's initial pool of 16 Payton candidates. That group includes last year's fourth-place finisher, Eastern Washington quarterback Erik Meyer. Meyer threw for 3,707 yards and 31 touchdowns and led the Eagles to the quarterfinal round of the I-AA playoffs. Grambling State quarterback Bruce Eugene, who suffered a knee injury in the season opener in 2004 and missed the year, also returns to the list. Eugene finished in the top three of the Payton voting in 2002 and 2003 and enters the 2005 campaign with 9,122 career passing yards and 84 touchdowns. Georgia Southern running back Jermaine Austin, Harvard running back Clifton Dawson, University of Northern Iowa running back Terrance Freeney, Western Illinois running back Travis Glasford, Montana State quarterback Travis Lulay, Southern Illinois quarterback Joel Sambursky, New Hampshire quarterback Ricky Santos and Appalachian State quarterback Richie Williams all return to the watch list. William & Mary quarterback Lang Campbell was the 2004 Walter Payton Award winner.
Five players who appeared on last year's final Buck Buchanan Award ballot are among this year's 16 Buchanan candidates, including second-place finisher Chris Gocong of Cal Poly. Gocong tallied 71 tackles and 17.5 sacks a year ago and placed second in the balloting behind teammate Jordan Beck. Hampton linebacker Justin Durant, Weber State defensive end Brady Fosmark, Furman linebacker William Freeman and Massachusetts safety Shannon James are each returnees to the Buchanan Battle list. Beck, a linebacker from Cal Poly and third-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons, was the 2004 Buck Buchanan winner.
The official "Payton Watch" and "Buchanan Battle" lists will undergo three revisions prior to the distribution of ballots on November 21st. The first revisions will be announced October 12th, the second November 2nd, and the third just prior to the distribution of ballots. The ballots will be mailed electronically to the media and I-AA sports information directors selected for the voting process on November 21st, and will be due Wednesday, November 23rd. The top three finalists (in terms of votes received) for the Walter Payton Award will be invited to attend the presentation with the winner of that Award not announced until the event.
Following are the 32 current members of both the "Payton Watch" and "Buchanan Battle" lists, with additional information on each player, as well as history and facts about each of the I-AA awards, available at www.sportsnetwork.com.
"Payton Watch" Candidates (Aug. 24)
Jermaine Austin, RB, Georgia Southern
David Ball, WR, New Hampshire
Steve Baylark, RB, Massachusetts
Clifton Dawson, RB, Harvard
Bruce Eugene, QB, Grambling State
Terrance Freeney, RB, UNI
Travis Glasford, RB, Western Illinois
Nick Hartigan, RB, Brown
Lex Hilliard, RB, Montana
Eric Kimble, WR, Eastern Washington
Travis Lulay, QB, Montana State
Ingle Martin, QB, Furman
Erik Meyer, QB, Eastern Washington
Joel Sambursky, QB, Southern Illinois
Ricky Santos, QB, New Hampshire
Richie Williams, QB, Appalachian State
"Buchanan Watch" Candidates (Aug. 24)
Maurice Bennett, LB, Lafayette
Katon Bethay, DT, Wofford
Antoine Bethea, DB, Howard
Sean Conover, DE, Bucknell
Reed Doughty, S, Northern Colorado
Justin Durant, LB, Hampton
Brady Fosmark, DE, Weber State
William Freeman, LB, Furman
Chris Gocong, DE, Cal Poly
Shannon James, S, Massachusetts
Jerome Jones, LB, Eastern Kentucky
Tony LeZotte, S, James Madison
Markus Mikulec, LB, Sam Houston State
Tom Parks, DT, Delaware
David Pittman, CB, Northwestern State
Antonio Thomas, CB, Western Kentucky