Xavier Smith Florida A&M
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Florida A&M receiver Xavier Smith on Payton Award watch list

Florida A&M wide receiver Xavier Smith has been tabbed to the Walter Payton Award watch list.

Courtesy: Florida A&M

CHICAGO, Ill. | Florida A&M football’s electric Xavier Smith earned more preseason accolades as he was one of 35 players in the nation named to the Walter Payton Award Watch List. Smith is one of four attending an HBCU and one of seven wide receivers. 
 
Xavier Smith was named to the Walter Payton Award Watch List after leading the Rattlers in receiving in 2021 with 713 yards. Smith’s 713 receiving yards were the sixth most in the SWAC. Smith also ranked 21st in the nation averaging 5.8 receptions per game, and seventh in the SWAC in all-purpose yards per game (91.45).
 
NCAA FCS Active Career Leader Rankings (End of 2021)
• Ranked 4th in receptions per game
• Ranked 6th in receiving yards per game
• Ranked 8th in receptions 
• Ranked 13th in receiving yards
• Ranked 32nd in receiving touchdowns
• Ranked 33rd in all-purpose yards
 
Smith has been named to the Walter Payton Award Watch List, Stats Perform FCS Preseason All-American Third Team, East-West Shrine Bowl 1000 list, and Preseason All-SWAC First Team Offense. 
 
Complete Walter Payton Award Watch List
 
Quarterbacks
Nic Baker, Southern Illinois, Jr., 5-9, 194
Tim DeMorat, Fordham, Gr., 6-4, 220 (2020 and 2021 Finalist)
Nick Howard, Dartmouth, Sr., 6-2, 230.
Parker McKinney, Eastern Kentucky, R-Jr., 6-3, 208
Tommy Mellot, Montana State, So., 6-0, 195
Shedeur Sanders, Jackson State, So., 6-2, 215
Lindsey Scott Jr., UIW, Sr., 5-11, 220
Trae Self, Stephen F. Austin, Sr., 6-4, 190
Jason Shelley, Missouri State, Sr., 5-11, 197 (2021 Finalist)
Xavier Shepherd, Kennesaw State, Jr., 6-0, 205 (2021 Finalist)
Reece Udinski, Richmond, Gr., 6-4, 220
 
Running Backs
Jake Chisholm, Dayton, Sr., 5-9, 191 (2021 Finalist)
Isaiah Davis, South Dakota State, Jr., 6-1, 220
Juwon Farri, Monmouth, R-Sr., 5-10, 195 (2020 Finalist)
Ailym Ford, Chattanooga, Jr., 5-9, 213
Narii Gaither, Gardner-Webb, Sr., 5-10, 181
Ulonzo Gilliam Jr., UC Davis, Sr., 5-9, 189
Malik Grant, Sacred Heart, Sr., 5-9, 200 (2021 Finalist)
Julien Gums, Nicholls, Sr., 5-10, 230
Darius Hale, Central Arkansas, So., 5-11, 225
Geno Hess, Southeast Missouri, Sr., 5-8, 209 (2021 Finalist)
Isaiah Ifanse, Montana State, Sr., 5-10, 202 (2021 Finalist)
Hunter Luepke, North Dakota State, Sr., 6-1, 236
Jaleel McLaughlin, Youngstown State, Sr., 5-9, 195
Jacob Saylors, ETSU, Sr., 5-11, 195
 
Wide Receivers
Avante Cox, Southern Illinois, Sr., 5-10, 170
Shaquan Davis, South Carolina State, R-Jr., 6-5, 215
Xavier Gipson, Stephen F. Austin, Sr., 5-9, 170 (2021 Finalist)
Taylor Grimes, UIW, Sr., 5-11, 190
Jakob Herres, Richmond, Gr., 6-4, 225 (2020 Finalist)
Jaxon Janke, South Dakota State, Sr., 6-3, 210
Xavier Smith, Florida A&M, Gr., 5-10, 170
 
Tight Ends
Kemari Averett, Bethune-Cookman, Sr., 6-6, 260
Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State, Jr., 6-5, 255
Ryan Miller, Furman, R-Sr., 6-2, 221
 

Florida A&M receiver Xavier Smith on Payton Award watch list
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