JACKSONVILLE --- Jacksonville State running back DaMarcus James has been named to the Walter Payton Award Preseason Watch List, which was released today by The Sports Network.

The junior is one of 20 players on the list for the Football Championship Subdivision’s outstanding player. The Sports Network will present the FCS’s Heisman equivalent on Dec. 15 at the national awards banquet.

James, a preseason All-American by several news organizations and publications, had a record-breaking junior season in 2013, when he rushed for 1,477 yards on 292 carries to set the JSU’s single-season rushing record.

The first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference selection also set the OVC record with 29 rushing touchdowns to finish second in the nation, and he scored a rushing touchdown in the final 12 games of the season to extend his school record.

The Demopolis native has 35 career rushing touchdowns, third most in school history, and his 13 career 100-yard rushing games is second most in school history.

He helped the Gamecocks advance to the NCAA quarterfinals and post an 11-4 overall record in 2013, and the Gamecocks finished with a No. 10 final ranking in The Sports Network poll. JSU’s offense also set 49 school records, 13 OVC records and three NCAA records during the 2013 season.

The Payton Award watch list can undergo revision during the 2014 season. Ballots will be sent to a national panel of more than 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. 

The Sports Network also presents the Buck Buchanan, Jerry Rice and Eddie Robinson awards. The Buchanan Award honors the outstanding defensive player in the FCS, the Rice Award goes to the FCS freshman of the year and the Robinson Award is bestowed upon the FCS coach of the year.