UTC's Ford Named To Stats Perform Walter Payton Award Watch List

  • Wednesday, August 3, 2022
 Running Back Ailym Ford is on the Walter Payton Award Watch List leading the Chattanooga Mocs into the 2022 season
Running Back Ailym Ford is on the Walter Payton Award Watch List leading the Chattanooga Mocs into the 2022 season
Chattanooga Mocs junior Ailym Ford is in elite company with the Chattanooga Mocs. He’s one of four all-time with multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons. He’s now joining an elite national list on the Stats Perform Walter Payton Award watch list for 2022 given to the most dynamic FCS offensive performer.

Ford is already honored first with preseason all-conference and later All-America consideration. He enters the campaign with 2,244 yards and 20 touchdowns looking to become the only Moc with three 1,000-yard campaigns ahead of the trio of Eldra Buckley (2005, 2006), Jacob Huesman (2014, 2015) and Derrick Craine (2015, 2016).

“Ailym has an incredible impact on our program,” Coach Rusty Wright stated.
“It’s not just on the field, which is obvious and why he’s under this consideration in the first place. He’s in this position because of what he does off the field.

“He is an elite worker be it on the practice or the weight room or the classroom. Ailym has a chance to make his mark as the best running back in Chattanooga history.” 

He rushed for 1,071 yards on 203 carries with 11 touchdowns in 2021 sharing totes with Tyrell Price (133-853-9). Ford’s eyes are on a number of school records…

1,807 yards shy of Jacob Huesman’s (2012-15) school-record 4,051 rushing yards.
1,442 yards short of Gwain Durden’s (1977-80) mark of 3,686 rushing yards, the most by a running back
Derrick Craine’s (2013-16) season record of 1,251 rushing yards in 2015. Craine and Huesman (1,244) combined for 2,495 yards for the campaign.
Durden’s career record 16 100-yard games are also in his sights with 11 of his own
Attaining one of those will be enough to keep him in the Payton Award conversation throughout the season. Two or more would put him square in the middle of the final conversation. But that comes in December, there’s way too many days and games between then and now.

There are just two Mocs who have been in among the finalists for the award. Chris Sanders (1999-00) finished ninth in the voting in 2000 throwing for 3,691 yards averaging 341.5 yards of total offense over 11 games.

Huesman finished 11th twice in the 2014 and 2015 tallies. He threw for 2,731 yards and rushed for 1,009 accounting for 37 touchdowns with 23 in the air and 14 on the ground as a junior. He followed that in 2015 with 2,117 passing and 1,244 rushing yards accounting for 25 scores (13 rush/12 pass).

Ford is one of three SoCon performers on the initial list. He’s joined by ETSU senior running back and Marion County alum Jacob Saylors and Furman senior tight end Ryan Miller.

The Mocs 2022 schedule is linked above. Five home games are included with visits from Wofford, North Alabama, VMI, Mercer and Samford. Season tickets start at just $60 for general admission. Go to the Go Mocs app or call (423) 266-MOCS (6627) to purchase.

The ticketing and marketing pros at Chattanooga launched an August campaign for 500 new season tickets sold this week.
Dan Fleser: Lady Vols, Vols Keep Playing With Wins Over OSU, Charlotte
  • 6/4/2023

The Tennessee baseball team is coming home from Clemson, S.C. after Sunday night while Lady Vols softball is staying put in Oklahoma City. That’s exactly what they wanted. Vols baseball, buoyed ... more

CFC Men Win 2-1 At Maryland
  • 6/4/2023

Chattanooga FC continued an impressive start to the season with a comeback 2-1 victory in Maryland on Saturday night. Quickfire goals from Markus Naglestad and Mutaya Mwape earned all three ... more

Ensley Doubles In Run In 14th Inning As Vols Snap Clemson's 17-Game Win Streak
  • 6/3/2023

Hunter Ensley doubled in a run in the 14th inning to lead Tennessee to a comeback victory over Clemson on Saturday night at the Tigers' home field. The 6-5 win snapped the Tigers' 17-game ... more