For the second year in a row, Saint Francis’ running back has played his way onto the prestigious Walter Payton Award Watch List.
Picking up where his former teammate Kyle Harbridge left off, Khairi Dickson has shot up the national rushing leader board and earned the attention of the Sports Network as a result.
The newswire organization, which is considered a leader in NCAA FCS coverage and sponsors a postseason awards program, made three mid-season additions to its official Watch List. One of the three additions, Dickson is now one of 22 men in the running for the top individual honor given to a FCS athlete.
Craig Haley, the Sports Network’s FCS editor, broke the news via his Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon, September 30.
— Craig Haley (@CraigHaley) September 30, 2014
Like Harbridge in 2013, Dickson was not on the preseason edition of the Walter Payton Award Watch List. Following in the footsteps of his former teammate, however, Dickson gave the Sports Network no choice but to take notice and add him to the list.
Through five games this season, Dickson has rushed for 916 yards and 9 touchdowns. His 183.2 yards per game rushing average ranks first amongst Division I FCS leaders.
The native Clevelander has had his best outings on the road against prime competition. Dickson ran for 244 yards and two scores at nationally-ranked Fordham and piled up 216 yards and one touchdown at CAA member James Madison.
“With his [Dickson’s] past history of injuries, it’s a testament to his character that he’s been able to respond so strongly,” SFU head coach Chris Villarrial said. “He’s shown the ability to respond to adversity and it’s paying dividends for him now.”
Last year, Harbridge caught the eye of Walter Payton Award voters by averaging 188.3 rush yard per game, a number that topped FCS at the time.
Harbridge, who went on to earn Capital One Academic All-American honors, finished 13th overall in the final Walter Payton Award voting. Current New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo won the award, while Cleveland Browns running back Terrance West finished third.
Dickson is currently one of three NEC running backs on the official Walter Payton Award Watch List. Central Connecticut senior Rob Hollomon, who ranks fourth on the FCS leader board in all-purpose yards per game (191.8), has been on the list since the preseason as has Sacred Heart’s Keshaudas Spence, the reigning NEC Offensive Player of the Year.
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