Mercer University running back Payton Usher is one of 38 players named to the 2014 College Football Performance Awards Running Back Watch List, as announced by the organization on Monday morning.
In 2013, Usher rushed for 776 yards on 6.8 yards per carry in just nine games, topping the team with 86.2 yards per contest in the process. He eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark four times during his redshirt freshman season, highlighted by a season-best 154-yard effort on 12 carries in the Bears’ 43-0 victory over Berry.
Usher is the second Bear to earn the distinction this year, after teammate John Russ was named to the 2014 CFPA Quarterback Watch List last week. The two helped Mercer become just one of 17 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision programs to have a player on both the quarterback and running back watch lists.
The goal of College Football Performance Awards is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferment in college football. Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. Twenty-eight CFPA winners have been first-round NFL Draft selections.
Mercer opens its 2014 campaign with a Thursday night game (Aug. 28) against Reinhardt at 7 p.m. inside Mercer University Stadium.