Sacred Heart University football rising senior Keshaudas Spence (Dorchester, Mass.) added another preseason accolade to his ever-lengthening resume on Monday morning. The Sports Network named Spence to the Walter Payton Award Watch List, presented annually to the outstanding player at the NCAA Division I FCS level. Spence is one of 20 student-athletes on the watch-list, and one of only six running backs named.
The Walter Payton Award Watch List can undergo revision during the 2014 season. Ballots will be sent to a national panel of over 150 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 presentation of the award
Last week, Spence was named a preseason TSN Second Team All-America, following a 2013 season that saw the Catholic Memorial graduate earn TSN Second Team All-America honors. The NEC Offensive Player of the Year last fall, he set a single-season Pioneer rushing record of 1,669 yards, fourth-best in the FCS on the year. Spence also broke the school's single-season rushing record with a 22-yard TD scamper versus Duquesne and set the single-game mark with a 211 yard effort in a win over Central Connecticut State. Spence, an All-New England selection, rushed for 194 yards and two scores in the Pioneers FCS Playoff game at Fordham.
Spence helped Sacred Heart to a 10-3 record last fall as the Pioneers captured their first-ever NEC Football Championship and advanced to the FCS Playoffs for the first time. In addition to numerous athletic honors, the Pioneers were recognized by the NEC with the league's Football Sportsmanship Award.
Sacred Heart begins the 2014 campaign on August 30, versus Marist, under the lights – the first of four consecutive home games to open the year. The Pioneers begin their NEC title defense on October 11 with a home game versus Robert Morris.