It’s been a banner year for Tennessee State’s Chris Rowland. The senior wide receiver finished sixth in the 2019 STATS FCS Walter Payton Award voting, which is given annually to the most outstanding offensive player in the Division I subdivision.

Voting for the award is done by a panel of 156 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters and writers at the conclusion of the regular season.

The top four candidates include Northern Arizona quarterback Case Cookus, North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance, Sacramento State quarterback Kevin Thomson and Monmouth running back Pete Guerriero. All four will be invited to the STATS FCS Awards Banquet on Jan. 10 in Frisco, Texas.

Rowland, who is a Ravenwood High School alum, earned 153 total points — including seven first-place votes — to finish 71 points behind Eastern Washington’s Eric Barriere, who placed fifth. Rowland had TSU’s highest finish for the award since Charles Anthony placed in the top four in both 2003 and 2004.

The 5-foot-8 senior was named the Ohio Valley Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year at the end of November and named an All-OVC first team selection. He was named one of four finalists for the Black College Football Player of the Year award on Friday and also selected to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

Rowland led the FCS with 1,437 yards receiving and was second with 2,110 all-purpose yards and 175.8 all-purpose yards per game. The senior standout also added 541 yards in the return game — 375 on kickoffs and 166 on punt returns.

This post originally ran in our sister publication, the Nashville Post. 

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