16 Finalists Announced for 34th FCS Walter Payton Award
FCS

16 Finalists Announced for 34th FCS Walter Payton Award

Sixteen finalists were announced on Monday for the Stats Perform FCS Walter Payton Award, which is presented to the national offensive player of the year in college football’s Division I subdivision.

The Payton Award, named for the legendary running back and in its 34th season, has served as a stepping-stone for such NFL players as Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Brian Westbrook, Jimmy Garoppolo and Cooper Kupp. Also, the most recent recipient in 2019, former North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance, is projected to be one of the early selections in the NFL Draft on April 29.

A 40-member national media panel will select the winner from the unprecedented 2020-21 season, which has spanned the fall and spring semesters. The recipient will be announced on May 15.

Also in the next month, Stats Perform will present the Buck Buchanan Award (FCS defensive player of the year), Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman player of the year), Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year) and Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

2020-21 WALTER PAYTON AWARD FINALISTS

Percy Agyei-Obese, James Madison, RB, Sr. (CAA)

Statistics: 69 carries, 381 yards, 5.5 ypc, 5 TDs; 4 receptions (4 games)

Notable: TD in all 4 games; 132 rush yards, TD vs. Elon

Eric Barriere, Eastern Washington, QB, Sr. (Big Sky)

Statistics: 166 of 268 (61.9 percent), 2,193 yards, 18 TDs, 6 INTs; 135 rush yards (6 games)

Notable: 300+ pass yards in 5 of 6 games, multiple TD passes in all 6 games

Julius Chestnut, Sacred Heart, RB, Jr. (Northeast)

Statistics: 93 carries, 717 yards, 7.7 ypc, 8 TDs; 8 receptions, 171 yards, 3 TDs (4 games)

Notable: 173+ rushing yards, TD in all 4 games

Tim DeMorat, Fordham, QB, Jr. (Patriot)

Statistics: 93 of 129 (72.1 percent), 1,049 yards, 5 TDs, 3 INTs; 2 rush TDs (3 games)

Notable: 39 of 56, 440 yards, 2 TDs vs. Holy Cross

Juwon Farri, Monmouth, RB, Jr. (Big South)

Statistics: 79 carries, 422 yards, 5.3 ypc, 9 TD (3 games)

Notable: 119+ rushing yards, multiple TDs in all 3 games

Aqeel Glass, Alabama A&M, QB, Sr. (SWAC)

Statistics: 67 of 113 (59.3 percent), 1,084 yards, 13 TDs, 3 INTs; 1 rush TD (3 games)

Notable: 27 of 40, 440 yards, 6 TDs, 1 rush TD vs. Jackson State

Jakob Herres, VMI, WR, Jr. (Southern)

Statistics: 67 receptions, 807 yards, 12.0 ypc, 7 TDs (7 games)

Notable: 29 receptions, 373 yards, 5 TDs over consecutive games vs. Samford and Wofford

Quay Holmes, ETSU, RB, Jr. (Southern)

Statistics: 122 carries, 640 yards, 5.2 ypc, 8 TDs; 182.3 all-purpose ypg (6 games)

Notable: 310 all-purpose yards vs. Western Carolina, 293 vs. VMI

Tyler Hudson, Central Arkansas, WR, So. (Southland)

Statistics: 50 receptions, 845 yards, 16.9 ypc, 7 TDs; 15 punt returns, 119 yards, 1 TD (9 games)

Notable: 12 receptions, 154 receiving yards vs. Arkansas State was one of 4 100-yard games

Cole Kelley, Southeastern Louisiana, QB, Sr. (Southland)

Statistics: 210 of 305 (68.9 percent), 2,662 yards, 18 TDs, 4 INTs; 7 TD runs; 2 TD catches (7 games)

Notable: 300+ pass yards in all 7 games; 4+ total TDs in 5 of 7 games

Dejoun Lee, Delaware, RB, Sr. (CAA)

Statistics: 77 carries, 498 yards, 6.5 ypc, 5 TDs; 87-yard KR TD; 152.2 all-purpose ypg (5 games)

Notable: 221 rush yards, 2 TDs, 275 all-purpose yards vs. Rhode Island

Keith Pearson, Presbyterian, WR, Sr. (Pioneer)

Statistics: 65 receptions, 831 yards, 12.8 ypc, 5 TDs; 6 punt returns, 90 yards (7 games)

Notable: 10+ receptions in 4 of 7 games; 100+ receiving yards in 5 of 7 games

Pierre Strong Jr., South Dakota State, RB, Jr. (Missouri Valley)

Statistics: 80 carries, 453 yards, 5.7 ypc, 2 TDs; 12 receptions, 88 yards, 1 TD (5 games)

Notable: 90+ rush yards in 4 of 5 games

Otis Weah, North Dakota, RB, So. (Missouri Valley)

Statistics: 76 carries, 570 yards, 7.5 ypc, 7 TDs (5 games)

Notable: 129 rush yards, TD vs. North Dakota State; TD rush in all 5 games

Liam Welch, Samford, QB, Grad (Southern)

Statistics: 161 of 236 (68.2 percent), 2,242 yards, 12 TDs, 5 INTs; 303 rush yards, 4 TDs (6 games)

Notable: 37 of 59, 570 yards, 4 TDs vs. VMI; 39 of 49, 443 yards, 1 TD vs. Mercer

DeAngelo Wilson, Austin Peay, WR, Sr. (Ohio Valley)

Statistics: 44 receptions, 619 yards, 14.1 ypc, 3 TDs (7 games)

Notable: 99+ receiving yards in all 5 OVC games