South Dakota State University running back Zach Zenner is one of 20 players named to the initial 2013 Walter Payton Award Watch List. The award is for the top offensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision.
A junior from Eagan, Minn., Zenner is one of 11 finalists from the 2012 season to appear on the official watch list, which was announced Monday morning. A consensus All-America selection last season, Zenner placed seventh in the balloting after joining the watch list a month into the 2012 campaign.
Zenner led the nation in rushing during the 2012 season, racking up 2,044 yards in 13 games for an average of 157.2 yards per contest. He crossed the 100-yard mark in nine games and topped 200 yards three times, including a school-record 295 yards in the opening round of the FCS playoffs Nov. 24 versus Eastern Illinois. Zenner averaged 6.8 yards per carry and scored 13 touchdowns on the ground, while adding 28 receptions for 197 yards.
The Walter Payton Award will be presented by The Sports Network on Dec. 16.
The Missouri Valley Football Conference has four players on the pre-season Payton Award Watch List as announced by The Sports Network on Monday, July 8. The four representatives are more than any other conference.
MVFC Walter Payton Award Nominees
RB Shakir Bell, Indiana State
QB Brock Jensen, North Dakota State
RB David Johnson, UNI
RB Zach Zenner, South Dakota State