Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. finished second in voting for the Walter Payton Award. the Sports Network announced Monday night in Philadelphia.
Adams, who led the Eagles to an 11-3 record and a Big Sky Conference championship, finished second in the balloting behind Villanova quarterback John Robertson.
Idaho State quarterback Justin Arias finished third.
Last year Adams was the runner-up last year behind Jimmy Garappolo of Eastern Illinois, is one of three quarterbacks in contention for the Payton, which is emblematic of the top player in FCS.
Adams, the Big Sky’s all-time leader in touchdown passes, threw for 30 in only eight regular-season games, and he would have led the FCS in total offense per game (391.5 yards) if he had played one more game to qualify for the NCAA statistics.
Robertson led Villanova to a 10-2 record and No. 6 seed in the FCS playoffs, but missed Saturday’s quarterfinal game against Sam Houston State with a concussion. Villanova lost, 34-31.
Arias was the official NCAA leader in touchdown passes (38) and passing yards per game (339.7). Idaho State finished its season 8-4 overall and 6-2 in the Big Sky Conference, just missing a berth in the FCS playoffs.
Previously, Eastern quarterbacks Bo Levi Mitchell (2011) and Erik Meyer (2005) have won the award.
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