Stats Perform Announces 25 FCS Finalists for 2021 Walter Payton Award
FCS

Stats Perform Announces 25 FCS Finalists for 2021 Walter Payton Award

Twenty-five finalists were announced on Monday for the 2021 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, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary season, is named for the legendary Hall of Fame running back. Past recipients include Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Brian Westbrook, Jimmy Garoppolo, Cooper Kupp and Trey Lance.

The Walter Payton Award finalists:

Eric Barriere, QB, Eastern Washington (Big Sky)

Statistics: 294 of 438 (67.1 percent), 4,257 yards, 40 TDs, 6 INTs; 224 rush yards, 3 TDs (11 games)

BJ Byrd, WR, Morehead State (Pioneer)

Statistics: 90 receptions, 1,313 yards, 13 TDs (11 games)

Juwan Carter, QB, Norfolk State (MEAC)

Statistics: 199 of 312 (63.8 percent), 2,511 yards, 21 TDs, 5 INTs; 390 rush yards, 6 TDs (11 games)

Davis Cheek, QB, Elon (CAA)

Statistics: 253 of 397 (63.7 percent), 2,924 yards, 17 TDs, 5 INTs (11 games)

Jake Chisholm, RB, Dayton (Pioneer)

Statistics: 235 carries, 1,033 yards, 14 TDs; 30 receptions, 361 yards, 5 TDs; 300 KOR yards (10 games)

Tim DeMorat, QB, Fordham (Patriot)

Statistics: 234 of 400 (58.5 percent), 3,214 yards, 31 TDs, 9 INTs; 4 rush TDs (11 games)

Dai’Jean Dixon, WR, Nicholls (Southland)

Statistics: 71 receptions, 1,002 yards, 8 TDs (10 games)

Xavier Gipson, WR, Stephen F. Austin (AQ7)

Statistics: 68 receptions, 1,266 yards, 14 TDs; 1 punt return TD (10 games)

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

Statistics: 259 of 414 (62.6 percent), 3,568 yards, 36 TDs, 7 INTs (10 games)

Malik Grant, RB, Sacred Heart (Northeast)

Statistics: 226 carries, 1,288 yards, 9 TDs; 9 receptions, 124 yards, 2 TDs (11 games)

Geno Hess, RB, Southeast Missouri (OVC)

Statistics: 203 carries, 1,116 yards, 14 TDs (10 games)

Quay Holmes, RB, ETSU (Southern)

Statistics: 238 carries, 1,431 yards, 16 TDs; 20 receptions, 204 yards, 1 TD (11 games)

Keon Howard, QB, UT Martin (OVC)

Statistics: 154 of 258 (59.7 percent), 1,811 yards, 15 TDs, 7 INTs; 472 rush yards, 10 TDs (10 games)

Tyler Hudson, WR, Central Arkansas (AQ7)

Statistics: 62 receptions, 1,242 yards, 8 TDs (11 games)

Isaiah Ifanse, RB, Montana State (Big Sky)

Statistics: 210 carries, 1,258 yards, 8 TDs; 11 receptions, 100 yards, 1 TD (11 games)

Cole Johnson, QB, James Madison (CAA)

Statistics: 233 of 342 (68.1 percent), 2,953 yards, 32 TDs, 2 INTs; 184 rush yards, 5 TDs (11 games)

Cole Kelley, QB, Southeastern Louisiana (Southland)

Statistics: 339 of 457 (74.2 percent), 4,382 yards, 38 TDs, 6 INTs; 442 rush yards, 16 TDs (11 games)

Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa (MVFC)

Statistics: Leading FCS prospect for 2022 NFL Draft has helped UNI offense to 358.4-yard average (11 games)

E.J. Perry, QB, Brown (Ivy)

Statistics: 295 of 444 (66.4 percent), 3,033 yards, 23 TDs, 14 INTs; 466 rush/receiving yards, 8 TDs (10 games)

Eric Schmid, QB, Sam Houston (AQ7)

Statistics: 167 of 296 (56.4 percent), 2,254 yards, 26 TDs, 7 TDs; 291 yards, 3 TDs (9 games)

Jason Shelley, QB, Missouri State (MVFC)

Statistics: 213 of 358 (59.5 percent), 19 TDs, 6 INTs; 349 rush yards, 10 TDs (11 games)

Xavier Shepherd, QB, Kennesaw State (Big South)

Statistics: 69 of 113 (61.1 percent), 1,181 yards, 14 TDs, 3 INTs; 836 rush yards, 19 TDs (11 games)

Pierre Strong Jr., RB, South Dakota State (MVFC)

Statistics: 190 carries, 1,317 yards, 15 TDs; 20 receptions, 133 yards; 3 TD passes (11 games)

Cameron Ward, QB, UIW (Southland)

Statistics: 306 of 475 (64.4 percent), 3,839 yards, 38 TDs, 10 INTs (11 games)

Liam Welch, QB, Samford (Southern)

Statistics: 315 of 477 (66.0 percent), 3,366 yards, 22 TDs, 15 INTs; 510 rush yards, 8 TDs (11 games)

A 50-member, national media panel will select the winner, who will be announced on Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas – the eve of the FCS championship game.

Also this season, 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.