PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Junior running back David Johnson has been named to the 2013 Walter Payton Award Watch List by The Sports Network. The Walter Payton Award is given out to the top-FCS offensive player each season.
Johnson joins former UNI Panthers Dedric Ward (1996), Ryan Helming (1999, 2000), Terrance Freeney (2003), Eric Sanders (2007), Chad Rinehart (2007) and Tirrell Rennie (2011) who have also made it onto the award watch list. Sanders finished second in the voting in 2007 and Rennie placed 12th in the voting process in 2011.
Johnson has already been recognized this preseason by being named to the College Football Performance Awards Running Back Award Watch List and All-Purpose Performer of the Year Watch List and The Sports Network FCS Preseason All-America team.
Johnson will look to hit the ground running this season after his sophomore campaign in 2012. The Clinton, Iowa native finished last season with five multi-touchdown games and 1,021 rushing yards for 13 rushing touchdowns.
He led the team in scoring with 108 points off of 18 total touchdowns. The junior finished the season leading the MVFC in scoring and was tied for fifth in the FCS in scoring with 9.82 points per game. Johnson is now 10th all-time at UNI in career touchdowns with 30 and ninth all-time in rushing touchdowns with 22.
Johnson is one of four student-athletes representing the Missouri Valley Football Conference on this year’s watch list. The Payton Award Watch List can undergo revision during the 2013 season. Ballots will be sent to a panel of about 175 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries following the regular season. The top three vote-getters will be invited to The Sports Network FCS Awards Presentation.