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EWU’s Eric Barriere wins Walter Payton Award

The Walter Payton Award is given to the most outstanding offensive player in FCS football.
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)

FRISCO, Texas — The second time's the charm for Eric Barriere, who has officially been named the most outstanding offensive player in FCS football, bringing home the 2021 Walter Payton Award.

Barriere fell short by just six votes last season in the award’s voting.

In 2021, Barriere threw for 5,070 yards, 46 touchdowns, and eight interceptions, with a jaw dropping average of 390 passing yards per game. Barriere also ran for 470 yards and four touchdowns. His performance helped lead the Eagles to a 10-3 record, with an appearance in the FCS playoffs.

With 2021 being his final season in an Eagle uniform, Barriere finished ranked third all-time in the FCS in total offense with 15,394 yards, third in passing yards with 13,809, and tied for fourth in career passing touchdowns with 121, all of which are Eastern Washington and Big Sky Conference career records. 

The Walter Payton award comes after Barriere has already been recognized for multiple postseason awards:

  • Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year
  • First Team All-Big Sky Conference Quarterback
  • First Team HERO Sports All-American Quarterback
  • Second Team Associated Press FCS All-American Quarterback
  • FCS ADA All-America Quarterback
  • First Team Stats Perform FCS All-America Quarterback
  • Second Team AFCA FCS All-American Quarterback
  • Athlon Sports FCS All-America Quarterback
  • FCS ADA Offensive Player of the Year

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