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Michael Payton
Date of birth: March 5, 1970 (1970-03-05) (age 39)
Career information
Position(s): QB
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 225 lb (102 kg)
Jersey №: 14
College: Marshall
 As player:
1996 Florida Bobcats
Career highlights and awards
Awards: 1992 Walter Payton Award
Honors: 1992 1-AA National Champions
Records: Southern Conference career passing yards
1991 NCAA Division I-AA pass efficiency
Playing stats at

Michael Payton (born 1970) is an American former football quarterback. He played college football for the Marshall Thundering Herd at Marshall University. He was the recipient of the 1992 Walter Payton Award, which is bestowed annually upon Division I-AA's most outstanding player. After college, he played one season in the Arena Football League for the Florida Bobcats.


Payton did not originally intend to attend Marshall University, but changed his mind upon visiting the campus. He later said, "I loved the place and loved the people. They stand behind the athletes."[1] As a sophomore in 1990, he completed 199 of 347 passes for 2,409 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions.[2]

In 1991, he completed 222 passes on 346 attempts for 3,392 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.[2][3] That season, he led Marshall to the NCAA Division I championship game, where the Herd finished as runners-up.[4] Payton also set the Division I-AA record for season passing efficiency.[5] In 1992, he completed 268 passes on 415 attempts for 3,610 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.[2][3] Payton again led Marshall to the championship game their first-ever national title.[6] He finished his college tenure as the Southern Conference's all-time career passing leader, and received the Walter Payton Award, which is given annually to the best player in Division I-AA football.[7]

After graduating from college, Payton played for one season in the Arena Football League. He played as a back-up quarterback for the Florida Bobcats in 1996. That year, he completed three passes on 17 attempts and threw one interception.[8] Payton was inducted in the Marshall University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.[1]


  1. ^ a b Six inducted into 18th Athletic Hall of Fame, Marshall University, November 2, 1999.
  2. ^ a b c Record Book (PDF), 2006 Marshall Football Media Guide, p. 106, Marshall University, 2006.
  3. ^ a b The next great quarterback?, Marshall University, retrieved July 3, 2009.
  4. ^ SPORTS PEOPLE: COLLEGE FOOTBALL; Marshall Star Is No. 1, The New York Times, December 15, 1992.
  5. ^ College Football Around the Nation, The New York Times, November 24, 1991.
  6. ^ COLLEGE FOOTBALL; Majors's New Pitt Has One Old Name, The New York Times, August 22, 1993.
  7. ^ Marshall QB Wins Payton Award, Deseret News, December 15, 1992.
  8. ^ Michael Payton, ArenaFan Online, retrieved July 27, 2009.


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