Eastern Washington quarterback Eric Barriere, Sacred Heart running back Julius Chestnut and VMI receiver Jakob Herres are among the Walter Payton Award finalists highlighting the Associated Press FCS All-America team released Wednesday.
The Championship Subdivision’s spring season, pushed back nearly six months because of the pandemic, will conclude Sunday with the national title game between No. 2-seeded Sam Houston and top-seeded South Dakota State in Frisco, Texas.
The two biggest awards in Division I football’s second tier will be handed out Saturday. The Payton award goes to the player of the year and the Buck Buchanan Award honors the top defensive player in the FCS. The AP’s All-America first team includes five of the 16 Payton award finalists and 10 of the 18 Buchanan finalists.
Barriere passed for 2,448 yards and 19 touchdowns in seven games for Eastern Washington. The second-team quarterback was Cole Kelley from Southeastern Louisiana.
Barriere was also named the Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
Idaho landed a pair of players on the second team in linebacker Tre Walker and punter Cade Coffey.
Walker had 54 tackles in four games for the Vandals this spring. Coffey ranked third in the Big Sky in punting average (45.8 yards), landed 16 of his 26 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line and also had the most punts of more than 50 yards with nine.
Chestnut led FCS in rushing at 171 yards per game. He was joined in the first-team backfield by North Dakota’s Otis Weah, who averaged 7.1 yards per carry.
Herres led the nation in receiving at 122 yards per game.
Northern Iowa nose tackle Jared Brinkman leads the first-team defense, along with McNeese State defensive lineman Isaiah Chambers, who had 14 tackles for loss .
Sanford defensive back Chris Edmond was a first-team selection after intercepting four passes this season, and Presbyterian linebacker Colby Campbell was a first-team pick after leading the nation with 96 tackles.
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