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EWU quarterback Eric Barriere makes final three for 2021 Walter Payton Award

Last year, Cole Kelley edged Barriere out for the Walter Payton Award after Barriere won every other major FCS Award.
Credit: EWU Athletics

CHENEY, Wash. — Eastern Washington University (EWU) quarterback Eric Barriere is one of three players up for this year's Walter Payton Award, which is given to the national offensive player of the year.

According to a press release, Barriere is ranked alongside Southeastern Louisiana QB Cole Kelley and ETSU running back Quay Holmes.

The winner, selected by a 50-member national media panel after the regular season, will be announced at the FCS National Awards Banquet in Frisco, Texas, with a broadcast of the festivities to begin airing the next day, Jan. 8, on Bally Sports Regional Networks.

Last year, Cole Kelley edged Barriere out for the Walter Payton Award after Barriere won every other major FCS Award.

The last EWU player to receive the award was former wide receiver Cooper Kupp in 2015. In addition, former Eagles Erik Meyer (2005) and Bo Levi Mitchell received the honor.

According to a press release, Barriere just wrapped up his illustrious career with Eastern Washington in the Second Round of the FCS playoffs, helping the Eagles finish 10-3 overall with a 6-2 mark in Big Sky Conference play. He ended his tenure at EWU third all-time in the FCS in total offense (15,394), third in passing yards (13,809) and tied for fourth in passing touchdowns (121), all of which are also Eastern Washington and Big Sky Conference career records.

Barriere had 31 performances of at least 300 yards of total offense and 22 with at least 300 yards passing in his 51 games as an Eagle. He has had 17 with at least 400 yards of total offense and 11 with at least 400 passing, including school records of 600 yards passing (No. 8 in FCS history & No. 5 in BSC history), 577 yards of total offense, seven touchdown passes and eight TD's responsible for versus Idaho on Oct. 16, 2021. He now owns five of the top six passing performances in school history, and five of the top seven performances for total offense.

In his career he has completed 62.0% of his passes (1007-of-1623), good for 13,809 yards, 121 touchdowns and 29 interceptions, and has rushed 376 times for 1,585 yards and 22 more TDs (a school-record total of 143 touchdowns accounted for). His touchdown passes, passing yardage and 15,394 yards of offense are all school and Big Sky records.

After setting two new school records of 47 completions and 80 attempts in EWU's second-round matchup at Montana, Barriere now owns the school record for career completions (1,007) and career pass attempts (1,623). The Inglewood, Calif., native also owns the EWU career rushing record for a quarterback with 1,605 yards, breaking the previous record of 1,232 yards by Vernon Adams Jr. (2012-14).

Barriere is a preseason All-America selection and on watch lists for two end-of-season player of the year awards in FCS. Twelve times in his career he has won Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honors (six in 2021, three in 2020-21, twice in 2019, once in 2018). He has received accolades as National FCS Player of the Week for his performances in three different games, including a pair from Stats Perform.