Pruitt named to Walter Payton Award Watch List

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    MyCole Pruitt
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    July 7, 2014

    Complete Payton Award Watch List | TSN Release

    PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Southern Illinois tight end MyCole Pruitt was one of 20 players named to the preseason Walter Payton Award Watch List, The Sports Network announced Monday. The Payton Award is presented annually to the most outstanding player in FCS.

    Pruitt was a consensus first-team All-American in 2013 and is a two-time first-team All-MVFC honoree. He was named the top tight end in the nation after the 2013 season by the College Football Performance Awards, and he is already SIU's all-time leader in career receptions and receiving yards by a tight end.

    The announcement adds to the growing list of preseason honors for Pruitt. Earlier this summer, he was named a preseason first-team All-American by TSN and to the CFPA's Tight End Award Watch List. Pruitt is the only tight end named to the Payton Award Watch List.

    Since 1999, an SIU player has finished the season in the top-10 for the award seven times: Cornell Craig (1999), Joel Sambursky (2004, 05), Arkee Whitlock (2006), Nick Hill (2007), Larry Warner (2008) and Deji Karim (2009). Karim and Whitlock both finished third in the final voting, the highest finish for an SIU player.



    The breakdown by position: nine quarterbacks, six running backs, four wide receivers and one tight end. Past winners of the Payton Award include Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Brian Westbrook, Brian Finneran, John Friesz, Armanti Edwards and the 2013 recipient, Jimmy Garoppolo, this year's second-round draft choice of the New England Patriots.

    The Walter Payton Award Watch List can undergo revision during the 2014 season. Ballots 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 presentation of the award.