Two Bearkat football players in running for Walter Peyton Award
Two SHSU football players named as contenders for prestigious Walter Peyton Award
Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 00:07
For the first time ever, two Bearkats were put on the ballot for the Walter Payton Award Thursday.
Tim Flanders was a late addition to the ballot last year, but this is the first time Richard Sincere has been on the list.
They are two out of 20 players in the Football Championship Subdivision to be recognized by the Sports Network as the top contenders to take this season’s honor.
“It feels good. Blessed. Happy,” Flanders said. “Last year got put on late and came in 7th. Not bad. I can always do better. Now I have the whole season. Everybody on that list are playmakers. But there is only one winner.”
In the 2011 season, Flanders ranked number four in the nation in scoring (144 points), number 16 on rushing (109.6 yards per game) and number 24 in all-purpose yards (137.2). In the Southland Conference Flanders set single season records for touchdowns (24), points, and rushing yards.
Flanders was named to six All-American squads following the 2011 season, including American Football Coaches Association and Associated Press. He was also named Southland Conference Player of the Year.
“I feel blessed and honored to be in the same category as some of the guys on the list,” Sincere said.
Sincere was the number three rusher in the SLC (979 yards), and number seven in scoring (78 points).
In 2011, Sincere was named College Sporting News first-team All American and the SLC Offensive Player of the Year. He was also a first team All-Southland offensive section and two-time Southland “Offensive Player of the Week” (Central Arkansas and SFA).
“It is a heck of an honor for both of those guys and the football program,” head coach Willie Fritz said. “They each had a great year in 2011 and I think we will follow up with an even better year in 2012, as individuals and as a team.”
This is not the first time that there have been Bearkats on the Walter Payton Award ballot. Quarterback Dustin Long was the Payton Award runner-up in 2004. Quarterback Josh McCown finished seventh place in 2001. Other SHSU finalists were quarterback Chris Chaloupka 13th in 1999, quarterback Rhett Bomar 14th in 2008 and running back D. D. Terry 16th in 2006.
After the season, the most outstanding player in the FCS will join a list of Payton Award greats such as Steve McNair, John Friesz, Brian Westbrook, Tony Romo, Brian Finneran, Armanti Edwards and 2011 winner Bo Levi Mitchell.
The Payton Award Watch List can undergo revision during the 2012 season. A panel of about 175 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will receive the ballot after the regular season on November 19. The top three vote-getters will be invited to The Sports Network FCS Awards Presentation.
The Bearkats football season will start September 8 at 6 p.m. in the Elliot T. Bowers Stadium against The University of Incarnate World.