Adams, Kupp on Walter Payton Award watch list
Well-known already in The Sports Network postseason awards circles, Eastern Washington junior quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. and sophomore Cooper Kupp are on the initial Watch List for the Walter Payton Award presented annually by TSN to the top player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.
Adams was the 2013 runner-up for the Payton Award while Kupp was a unanimous winner of the Jerry Rice Award given by TSN to the top freshman in FCS. They join a list of 20 players on the initial Watch List.
Adams finished with 446 votes last season, 130 behind the 576 of winner Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois. Adams was the only non-senior in the top four.
Kupp has averaged a touchdown reception for every 4.4 catches so far in his young career, with an average of 18.2 yards per catch and 11 receptions of 40 yards or more. He accounted for numerous school, conference and FCS records in 2013 with a sensational debut season of 93 catches for 1,691 yards and 21 touchdowns. Besides winning the Jerry Rice Award, the 2012 graduate of Davis High in Yakima, Wash., was a first team selection on all nine FCS All-America teams and earned four other FCS Freshman of the Year accolades.