The SWAC will honor one of the greatest football players of all time.
The Southwestern Athletic Conference Alumni Association will honor former Jackson State running back Walter Payton with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Payton played at JSU from 1971-1975, becoming the school’s all-time leading rusher with 3,563 yards.
He also led the nation in scoring 160 points in 1973 on the path to setting a then NCAA Division II scoring record of 464 points. Payton, a Black College Player of the Year winner in 1973 and 1974, was inducted into the SWAC Hall of Fame in 1994.
The man known as “Sweetness” was drafted with the fourth overall pick in the 1975 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears.
He captured the 1977 NFL MVP and NFL All-Pro five times and made the Pro Bowler nine times. The 1985 Super Bowl Champion rushed for at least 1,200 yards in 10 of his 13 seasons before he retired in 1987 as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher with 16,726 yards.
Payton was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993 and is currently second behind Emmitt Smith.
Payton died in 1999 after a bout with bile duct cancer. He was 46.
The award will be presented at the Alumni Association’s annual Legends Award and Roast. A member of Payton’s family will accept the award on his behalf.
Leave a Reply