Andrew Pierce, University of Delaware Running Back, Has Twice Been Associated with the Walter Payton Award
The Walter Payton Award Watch List is a list of players who have the potential to be nominated for the Walter Payton Award. At the end of every football season, the Walter Payton Award is given to the most outstanding offensive player. Media and Sports Information Directors chose the nominees. As a national award, first awarded in 1987, it’s an honor to be nominated. In fact, it’s an honor to be potentially be nominated for the Walter Payton Award twice.
Andrew Pierce is a running back at University of Delaware. As a junior, Pierce landed a spot on Walter Payton Award Watch List. Last season, Andrew Pierce was nominated as a sophomore and finished 14th in the voting. The Bridgeton, NJ native is ranked third in the FCS by his statistics in rushing. He has 608 rushing attempts, 112.8 rushing yards per game. He is ranked fourth in total rushing yardage (2,934) and rushing touchdowns (30).
Now, he has the opportunity to wow the nation again. Which is an amazing accomplishment. Sports Cipher caught up with Andrew Pierce. Here’s what he had to say:
Is your mind going to be focused on winning the award for the second time around while you are playing this season?
To focus on winning game any way that we possibly can. We didn’t get to the playoffs. I’m not worried about no award, I just want to win.
What did it take to secure a starting position on the field?
It took a lot of hard work and I had to sit out a season. I just wanted to come on and just help the team right away. My freshman year, I played in the spring football game. [UD] had to gray shirt me. Gray shirt means I didn’t use a year of eligibility. They can give you a half or full scholarship and I got a half to cover for the spring. Sophomore year, I had a full scholarship
How did you feel when you learned you didn’t win the award in your sophomore year?
I didn’t even pay attention to that. I didn’t even see that until somebody told me I finished 14th . The whole year was a disappointment to me because we lost four games. I wasn’t focused on the award just because of how we played that year.
What would winning this award after being nominated for it twice do for your career?
It would be great because Walter Payton is somebody I look up to. Somebody I watch every night, I watch his highlight before a game. It would just be a dream come true.
Have you spoken to any of the other nominees or do you have a relationship with them?
No I don’t, I didn’t talk to anybody last year but I do know the running back from Towson but I don’t know him personally.
What would you do if your football career doesn’t work out for you?
I would like to open up a gym complex focusing on young people in troubled areas. Teaching football going back to my community giving back.
Tell me about any obstacles you’ve had to over come when it comes to football or generally in life.
The area I came from wasn’t the best, just getting out of there was a big accomplishment. Not many people make it out and I think I’m the first person from Division I there. Before I got to college I had to work two jobs. I would wake up at four in the morning and go to work until two. Then I had to go to class at seven at a community college. Being in the real world learning that stuff. I also got into a car crash. Its so many obstacles I went through.
What advice would you have a for a young football player?
Never give up on your dreams because you never know what could happen. Working hard and dedicated your time, the sky is the limit. You can reach anything you want if you put your head to it.
University of Delaware season opener is Thursday Aug. 30 at 7:30 pm.