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Michael Payton


Michael Lloyd Payton

Inducted 2015

Date of Birth



Harrisburg, PA


Marshall University (1989-1992)


The 1992 recipient of the Walter Payton Award as the best player in Division I-AA, Michael Payton led Marshall to its first-ever national championship. A consensus First Team All-American as a senior, Payton led the Herd to a 12-3 record and the 1992 Division I-AA national championship after defeating Youngstown State. In 1991, he was the Walter Payton Award runner-up after leading the nation in passing efficiency (181.3) and taking Marshall to the national championship game. Payton was twice named Southern Conference Player of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year. For more than 20 years, Payton held the Division I-AA (FCS) record for most passing yards in a half, and when inducted, ranked in the top four in almost every statistical passing category in Marshall history. A two-time first team all-conference selection and a team captain in 1992, he finished his career with 689 completions for 9,411 yards and 69 touchdowns. Inducted into the Marshall University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999, Payton played for College Football Hall of Famer Jim Donnan. He was named West Virginia Athlete of the Year and Man of the Year in 1991 and 1992. After spending part of 1993 with the Dallas Cowboys, Payton played two seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League before finishing his career with the Florida Bobcats of the Arena Football League in 1996. The Harrisburg, Pa., native became active in DARE and the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Payton professionally became a personal trainer and life coach.


Height 6'2"

Weight 225

Career Highlights

  • 1992 All-Conference
  • 1992 Conference MVP
  • 1992 First Team All-America (FCS)
  • 1992 Walter Payton Award winner
  • 1991 All-Conference
  • 1991 Conference MVP
  • 1991 Led nation in pass efficiency
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