Tommy Mellott, Isaiah Ifanse named to Walter Payton Award preseason watchlist

Tommy Mellott
Posted at 11:00 AM, Aug 03, 2022

BOZEMAN — Stats Perform announced Wednesday that sophomore quarterback Tommy Mellott and senior running back Isaiah Ifanse have been named to the 2022 Walter Payton Award preseason watchlist, which is presented annually to the most outstanding offensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

This past fall, Mellott threw for 484 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing 716 yards, which is the third-most by a Bobcat freshman joining Chris Murray (860 yards) and Ifanse (1,025 yards). Additionally, he is the only Bobcat to have made his first career start in the postseason, which was at home against UT Martin.

Mellott is one of three sophomores to be named to this year's preseason watchlist including Jackson State quarterback Shedeur Sanders and Central Kansas running back Darius Hale.

As a 2021 All-American, Ifanse's 1,623 rushing yards set a new MSU single-season record surpassing Ryan Johnson who ran for 1,537 yards in 2001. He's also on the cusp of breaking Johnson's career rushing yards total (3,646) sitting in second with 3,461.

Ifanse was a finalist for the award last fall but finished tied for seventh in voting, which was ultimately awarded to Eastern Washinton's Eric Barriere.

UC Davis running back Ulonzo Gilliam Jr. is the only other Big Sky player to make the list.

The 2022 Walter Payton Award preseason watchlist can be found here.