North Dakota State University wide receiver and return specialist Christian Watson was named to the 2021 Walter Payton Award watch list on August 4. The Walter Payton Award is given out annually by Stats Perform to the top offensive player in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.

     In the 2020-21 season Watson was named a first teamAll-American kickoff returner along with being named to the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference first team as a wide receiver.

     He also led the Bison with 896 all-purpose yards along with a team-high 19 receptions for 442 yards and one touchdown in 10 games. Watson was electrifying as a kick returner averaging 33.8 yards per kickoff return including a 100-yard touchdown at Northern Iowa and a 94-yard touchdown at Sam Houston State.

 

2021 Walter Payton Award Preseason Watch List

Quarterbacks

Eric Barriere, Eastern Washington (2019 and 2020-21 finalist)

Juwan Carter, Norfolk State

Jack Cook, Dayton

Zerrick Cooper, Jacksonville State (2019 finalist)

Tim DeMorat, Fordham (2020-21 finalist)

Draylen Ellis, Austin Peay

Aqeel Glass, Alabama A&M (2020-21 finalist)

Felix Harper, Alcorn State (2019 finalist)

Cole Kelley, Southeastern Louisiana (2020-21 recipient)

E.J. Perry, Brown

Eric Schmid, Sam Houston

Breylin Smith, Central Arkansas

Daniel Smith, Villanova (2019 finalist)

Cameron Ward, UIW

Liam Welch, Samford (2020-21 finalist)

Running Backs

Percy Agyei-Obese, James Madison (2020-21 finalist)

Julius Chestnut, Sacred Heart (2019 and 2020-21 finalist)

Josh Davis, Weber State

Elijah Dotson, Sacramento State

Juwon Farri, Monmouth (2020-21 finalist)

Geno Hess, Southeast Missouri

Quay Holmes, ETSU (2020-21 finalist)

Dejoun Lee, Delaware (2020-21 finalist)

Jah-Maine Martin, North Carolina A&T (2019 finalist)

Karl Mofor, Albany

Pierre Strong Jr., South Dakota State (2020-21 finalist)

Otis Weah, North Dakota (2020-21 finalist)

Devin Wynn, Furman

Wide Receivers

Samuel Akem, Montana

Avante Cox, Southern Illinois

Dai’Jean Dixon, Nicholls

Jequez Ezzard, Sam Houston

Jakob Herres, VMI (2020-21 finalist)

Tyler Hudson, Central Arkansas (2020-21 finalist)

Christian Watson, North Dakota State