Southern QB on Payton Award watch list

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: July 14, 2009

PHILADELPHIA — Southern quaterback Bryant Lee, along with two returning Walter Payton Award candidates, Weber State quarterback Cameron Higgins and Elon wide receiver Terrell Hudgins, and newcomers to the list

Albany running back David McCarty, have been added to the watch list for the Payton Award, bestowed annually upon the top player in FCS.

Lee, a threat as both a runner and a passer, established himself as one of the top quarterbacks in FCS last season. He became the signal-caller for the Jaguars at the end of the 2006 season and hasn’t looked back.

In 2008, the dual-threat threw for 2,682 yards and 20 TDs while completing 62% of his passes and also running for 534 yards and six touchdowns.

Nationally, Lee ranked eighth nationally with 292 yards of total offense per game and was 28th in passing efficiency. For his efforts, he earned first-team All-SWAC honors.

Top games for the then-junior included a career-high 407-yard effort against Florida A&M, and a 116-yard rushing performance in a 45-14 win over Texas Southern.

In 2007, Lee completed 66% of his passes for 2,326 yards and 23 TDs, including an effort in a 56-7 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in which he threw for 278 yards and four TDs, while rushing for two more scores.

Lee made an impact in his first start as a redshirt freshman in 2006, rushing for 102 yards and two TDs and throwing for 138 yards and another score in a 34-17 victory against Texas Southern.

In his first three seasons, Lee has piled up 5,579 yards and 61 total touchdowns.

A total of 20 candidates will be announced in alphabetical order prior to the start of the season, with four candidates being released each week. The watch list will be revised in October and again in November before the final ballot is announced.

Voting from a panel of FCS sports information directors, writers, broadcasters and other football experts will be conducted after the regular season ends.

Three finalists will be announced on Nov. 30 and will be invited to the 23rd annual Sports Network Awards banquet on Dec. 17 in Chattanooga, the night prior to the NCAA Division I championship game.

The Eddie Robinson Award (top FCS Coach) and Buck Buchanan Award (top FCS Defensive Player) will also be presented that night.