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EWU's Barriere named one of three Walter Payton Award Finalists

The award is given the best offensive player at the FCS level.
Credit: AP
Eastern Washington quarterback Eric Barriere in action against Washington in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

CHENEY, Wash. — Eric Barriere's season may be done, but he's still racking up accolades.

Barriere was named one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Award Wednesday, which is given to the best offensive player at the FCS level. The award is known as the FCS' version of the Heisman.

Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Cole Kelley and Sacred Heart running back Julius Chestnut also made the cut.

The award was voted on at the end of the regular season and will be given out on Saturday, May 15.

Barriere ranked in the top five nationally over a six-game regular season in passing yards (2,193, fourth), passing yards per game (365.5, fifth), attempts (265, fifth), completions (166, fifth), touchdown passes (18, tied for third) and total offensive yards (2,328, third).

Chestnut played a four-game regular season in which he led the FCS in rushing yards per game (179.3) and all-purpose yards per game (222.0) and ranked second in points per game (17.0) and fourth in yards per carry (7.7).

Kelley played in seven regular-season games, leading the FCS in passing yards (2,662), completions (210), total offensive yards (2,708) and total touchdowns (27). He also was in the top five in pass attempts (305, second), TD passes (18, tied for third) and completion percentage (68.9, fifth).

EWU's season ended this past weekend at North Dakota State in the first round of the FCS playoffs. The Eags went up 20-7 in the first half, but then the Bison rattled off 35 straight points to win 42-20.