Chas Gessner Finishes Sixth In Walter Payton Award Voting

Dec. 4, 2002

Brown University senior All-American Chas Gessner, who led the nation in receiving, has placed sixth in the voting for the Walter Payton Award, presented annually to the nation's top I-AA player. Gessner's six place finish is the highest finish ever for a Brown football player.

Voting, which is based on regular season performance only, was conducted by The Sports Network among more than 100 media members and media-relations professionals covering I-AA. The top three finalists (in terms of votes received) for the Walter Payton Award are annually invited to attend the presentation of the Awards, with the winner of the Payton not announced until the event. The 16th Annual I-AA College Football Awards will be held Dec. 19th in Chattanooga, TN, on the eve of the NCAA I-AA national championship.

A two-time Payton Award finalist, Gessner led the nation with 11.4 receptions per game, completing the 2002 season114 receptions, third best in NCAA I-AA history, behind Brown's Stephen Campbell (120) and URI's Brian Forester (115).

Gessner tied an NCAA I-AA record with 24 receptions against Rhode Island, a record held by legendary NFL wide receiver Jerry Rice, who caught 24 passes for Mississippi Valley State against Southern University in 1983. Gessner made 14 catches in the first half alone against the Rams. He hauled in 24 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns (12 yards, 14 yards), and was named the National I-AA Offensive Player of the Week by The Sports Network, the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week, and the New England Football Writers Gold Helmet Award Winner.

His average of 11.4 receptions per game is also third in I-AA history. Gessner's 292 career receptions are 4th in NCAA I-AA history, and second in the Ivy League record book, while his 36 career touchdown receptions are second best in Ivy football history and 10th in NCAA I-AA history. Gessner completed his career with 3,408 all-time receiving yards, 18th best in I-AA history.

2002 WALTER PAYTON AWARD VOTING
NAME (SCHOOL)			1st	2nd	3rd	4th	5th	Total
Bruce Eugene (Grambling State)	??	??	??	??	??	???
Brett Gordon (Villanova)	??	??	??	??	??	???
Tony Romo (Eastern Illinois)	??	??	??	??	??	???
John Edwards (Montana)		12	11	13	13	8	177
Willie Ponder (Southeast Missouri)1	7	7	14	12	94
Chas Gessner (Brown)		5	6	6	7	9	90
Carl Morris (Harvard)		6	4	5	7	6.5	81.5
Chaz Williams (Georgia Southern)3	8	6	5	5	80
Allen Suber (Bethune-Cookman)	7	4	4	2	4	71
Kirwin Watson (Fordham)		3	5	6	2	10	67
P.J. Mays (Younsgtown State)	2	5	2	5	6	52
Billy Napier (Furman)		2	4	5	2	2	47
Stephan Lewis (New Hampshire)	1	4	4	4	4	45
Dave Corley (William & Mary)	1	1	4	3	5	32
Ryan Johnson (Montana State)	2	0	3	1	2	23
Ryan Fuqua (Portland State)	0	1	2	3	2.5	18.5
*Jay Bailey (Austin Peay)	1	0	0	0	0	5
*Doug Baughman (Idaho State)	0	0	0	1	0	2
*denotes write-in vote