YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown State running back Jaleel McLaughlin is among 30 finalists for the 2022 Walter Payton Award.

The honor is presented each year to the national offensive player of the year in the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

A 2021 first-team All-MVFC and third-team All-America selection, McLaughlin rushed for 1,588 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Penguins this season.

McLaughlin is one of 12 running backs on the Payton Award finalist list.

This fall, he ranked second in the nation in total rushing yards and rushing yards per game, fifth in attempts, seventh in touchdowns and eighth in yards per carry.

The Payton Award is affectionately known as the Heisman of the FCS.

Past recipients of the award include Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Brian Westbrook, Jimmy Garoppolo, Cooper Kupp and Trey Lance.

The recipient will be announced at the FCS National Awards banquet on Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas – on the eve of the national championship game.

2022 Walter Payton Award Finalists


Tim DeMorat, Fordham, Gr., 6-4, 220 (Patriot)
Cole Doyle, Saint Francis, R-So., 5-10, 170 (Northeast)
Bailey Fisher, Gardner-Webb, R-Sr., 5-11, 207 (Big South)
Michael Hiers, Samford, Jr., 6-1, 211 (Southern)
Parker McKinney, Eastern Kentucky, R-Jr., 6-3, 208 (ASUN)
Tommy Mellot, Montana State, So., 6-0, 205 (Big Sky)
Davius Richard, North Carolina Central, Jr., 6-3, 215 (MEAC)
Shedeur Sanders, Jackson State, So., 6-2, 215 (SWAC)
Lindsey Scott Jr., UIW, Sr., 5-11, 212 (Southland)
Matthew Sluka, Holy Cross, Jr., 6-3, 215 (Patriot)
Reece Udinski, Richmond, Gr., 6-4, 220 (CAA)

Running Backs

Aidan Borguet, Harvard, Sr., 5-10, 211 (Ivy)
Jake Chisholm, Dayton, Sr., 5-9, 191 (Pioneer)
Ailym Ford, Chattanooga, Jr., 5-9, 213 (Southern)
Ulonzo Gilliam Jr., UC Davis, Sr., 5-9, 189 (Big Sky)
Geno Hess, Southeast Missouri, Sr., 5-8, 222 (Ohio Valley)
Hunter Luepke, North Dakota State, Sr., 6-1, 236 (MVFC)
Jaleel McLaughlin, Youngstown State, Sr., 5-9, 183 (MVFC)
Deonta McMahon, McNeese, Sr., 5-9, 185 (Southland)
ShunDerrick Powell, North Alabama, So., 5-7, 168 (ASUN)
Jaden Shirden, Monmouth, So., 5-9, 185 (CAA)
Cameron Skattebo, Sacramento State, So., 5-10, 212 (Big Sky)
Bhayshul Tuten, North Carolina A&T, So., 5-11, 195 (Big South)

Wide Receivers

Fotis Kokosioulis, Fordham, Sr., 5-9, 180 (Patriot)
Xavier Gipson, Stephen F. Austin, Sr., 5-9, 180 (WAC)
Devron Harper Jr., Jr., 5-9, 168, Mercer (Southern)
Joey Hobert, Utah Tech, So., 5-11, 180 (WAC)
Andrei Iosivas, Princeton, Sr., 6-3, 200 (Ivy)
Xavier Smith, Florida A&M, Gr., 5-10, 170 (SWAC)

Offensive Lineman

Cody Mauch, North Dakota State, Sr., 6-6, 303 (MVFC)