’04 is on the Payton Award Watch

Dartmouth senior Casey Cramer is the lone tight end among the 16 players on the Payton Award Watch while Harvard senior linebacker Dante Balestracci is the only Ivy Leaguer on the Buchanan Award Watch.

The Walter Payton Award is awarded annually to the top player in I-AA football while the Buck Buchanan Award goes to the top defensive player in I-AA. The honors will be presented at the 17th annual I-AA College Football Awards on Dec. 18 in Chattanooga, Tenn., on the eve of the 2003 I-AA National Championship. The Eddie Robinson Award, honoring I-AA’s top coach, and the Sports Network Cup, bestowed upon the nation’s best I-AA mid-major program, will also be presented at that ceremony.

Cramer, a first-team All-American last year, caught 72 passes for 1,107 yards in 2002. Both of those numbers were — by far — the most by a tight end in Division I-A and I-AA.