Former Viking Usher named to Jerry Rice Award watch list

Former Northgate football player Payton Usher’s college career is off to a fast start at Mercer University.

The redshirt freshman and former Newnan Times-Herald Co-Offensive Player of the Year, has been named to the Jerry Rice Award watch list, which goes to the Football Championship Subdivision’s top freshman.

Usher ranks second in the Pioneer Football League with 483 total rushing yards after posting two 100-yard games in his first three collegiate contests, and rushing for 90 yards or more in each of his first four games.

“This is a great honor for Payton to be on the radar as one of the top freshmen in the country,” said head coach Bobby Lamb. “He has been the heart and soul of our program and represents the tireless work ethic of every player on our team.”

Mercer restarted its football program after a 72-year hiatus this season, opening with a 40-37 victory over Reinhardt which is coached by former long-time head coach Danny Cronic.

Usher made a huge impact in his debut to college football rushing for 115 yards. He also caught three catches.

The Northgate graduate has been putting up big numbers ever since to help the Bears to a 4-1 record.

Usher led the team win four in a row before losing to San Diego 45-13 last week for their first Pioneer League loss.

He ranks atop the PFL and No. 32 nationally at 129.0 all-purpose yards per game, including a career-high 202 yards in the season opener against Reinhardt.

Usher has been the workhorse in the backfield for the Bears, getting his number called 77 times and averaging 6.3 yards per carry to lead a rushing attack that ranks No. 12 in the country.

The Bears return to league action at home Saturday against Valparaiso.










More Sports

GISA state basketball

Hawks, Lions bow out in first round

Heritage School and Trinity Christian boys teams had respective 2014-15 basketball seasons come to an end in the opening round of the GISA C ... Read More


High School Soccer

EC gets back on field in split with Houston Co.

Mother Nature hasn’t been a best friend to East Coweta soccer teams so far this season. Despite starting the year nearly three weeks a ... Read More


Chris Goltermann

Let's stop fooling with Mother Nature and change the sports calendars

Before even yours truly was born - and we're talking about the dawn of the designated hitter in majorleague baseball - a brand of margarine ... Read More


High School Spring Sports

Lady Cougar tennis team stays undefeated

Before another blast of cold air arrived — and possibly a dash of frozen precipitation with it — Newnan’s girls tennis tea ... Read More


High School Basketball

Lady Lions’ season ends in Sweet 16

The 2014-15 basketball season ended earlier than Trinity Christian’s girls had hoped, falling in the opening round of the GISA Class A ... Read More

High School Basketball

Hawks hold off Lions for third in 1-AAA

By DOUG GORMAN dgorman@newnan.com KENNESAW— It might have been for third place, but The Heritage School and Trinity Christian played S ... Read More