Michael Payton

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Michael Payton (born March 5, 1970) is a former American 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.

Biography
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." As a sophomore in 1990, he completed 199 of 347 passes for 2,409 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions.

In 1991, he completed 222 passes on 346 attempts for 3,392 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. That season, he led Marshall to the NCAA Division I championship game, where the Herd finished as runners-up. Payton also set the Division I-AA record for season passing efficiency. In 1992, he completed 268 passes on 415 attempts for 3,610 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Payton again led Marshall to the championship game their first-ever national title. 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.

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. Payton was inducted in the Marshall University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.

In January 2015, Payton was one of 17 players elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

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