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Davius Richard one of four HBCU players added to Payton Award watch list

NC Central quarterback Davius Richard has been added to the Walter Payton Award watch list, with three other HBCU players.

North Carolina Central quarterback Davius Richard is one of four HBCU players who now have a shot at the top offensive award in FCS football.

STATS FCS added 20 new players to its Walter Payton Award watch list, which initially dropped in the preseason. HBCU football players represented 20 percent of those new additions.

Richard, a redshirt sophomore from Belle Glade, FL has had a remarkable start to the season. He leads the MEAC in passing yards (1,266) and touchdowns (13) while completing just under 65 percent of his passes. The dual-threat quarterback also leads the MEAC in rushing touchdowns (8) and is fourth in rushing yards with 352. He’s led NCCU to a 5-1 record (1-0 in MEAC play) through six games.

Davius Richard joins Jackson State quarterback Shedeur Sanders on the Payton Awards Watch list as the only two HBCU quarterbacks. Sanders was on the initial watch list.

A pair of HBCU running backs were added to the list as well. North Carolina A&T sophomore Bhayshul Tuten is now on the list, as is Jarveon Howard of Alcorn State.

Bhayshul Tuten North Carolina A&T

Tuten has rushed for 100-plus yards in five consecutive games for A&T, and has 637 total rushing yards to go along with six rushing touchdowns. Howard, a Syracuse transfer, has been huge for ASU. He’s rushed 118 times for 724 yards and eight touchdowns, running for 6.1 yards per attempt — all second in the SWAC. He leads the conference in rushing yards per game, averaging 120. 

No new receivers from HBCUs were added to the list, but Shaquan Davis of South Carolina State and Xavier Smith of Florida A&M were on the initial watch list, as was Bethune-Cookman tight end Kemari Averett.

Rounding out the HBCU additions is guard Mark Evans II of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. This pro prospect has helped Kayvon Britten to a league-leading 754 yards and 12 touchdowns in seven games.

The Walter Payton Award is given annually to the most outstanding offensive player in FCS football. Alcorn State quarterback Steve McNair was the last HBCU player to win the award back in 1994. 

Davius Richard one of four HBCU players added to Payton Award watch list
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