HUNTSVILLE – Bearkat quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe will have the chance to make FCS history in January as he was named one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Award in an announcement by STATS FCS on Monday.
Briscoe is the reigning Payton Award winner and can join Appalachian State’s Armanti Edwards as the only players in FCS history to win the award multiple times in a career. The senior from Houston will be joined by South Dakota’s Chris Streveler and UC Davis wide receiver Keelan Doss at the awards ceremony.
Named for the legendary College and Pro Football Hall of Fame running back, the Walter Payton Award is given to the outstanding offensive player in the subdivision since 1987, will be presented at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet Jan. 5 in Frisco, Texas - on the eve of the national championship game. Past winners include Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Brian Westbrook, John Friesz, Brian Finneran, Jimmy Garoppolo and Cooper Kupp.
Briscoe currently leads the nation in total passing yards (4,398) and passing yards per game (366.5), a mark nearly 20 yards per game clear of the second best in the FCS. The senior set an FCS record last year with 57 touchdown passes for the year and this year leads the nation in that category again with 41.
He is seeking to become the first FCS player since Eastern Washington’s Bo Levi Mitchell in 2010 and 2011 to lead the nation in touchdown passes in consecutive seasons. Briscoe has surpassed numerous Sam Houston and Southland marks this year and with 112 career touchdowns to his credit, is just nine short of Jeremy Moses’ SLC record in that category.
In 12 games played Briscoe has surpassed the 300-yard mark 10 times and has thrown for at least four scores seven times. He has been even better in the second half of the season, throwing for 1,718 yards and 18 touchdowns in his last four contests.
That includes Saturday’s shootout with South Dakota, where he and Streveler went head to head in the most entertaining game of the day in the second round of the FCS Playoffs. The teams combined for over 1,300 yards and each quarterback threw for over 500 yards, including Briscoe who finished the day 28-of-43 for 505 yards and four touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Streveler was named the Missouri Valley Player of the Year and as a dual-threat at center for the Coyotes, leads the nation in total offense (373.4 ypg) despite Briscoe being right on his heels (366.9 ypg) in the nation’s second spot. He threw for 520 yards and accounted for six touchdowns in South Dakota’s loss on Saturday to the Kats.
The third invitee is Doss, the first UC Davis player in program history to win the Big Sky’s Offensive Player of the Year honor. He set single-season records at UC Davis in total receiving yards (1,499) and receptions (115), and still leads the nation in both categories despite the Aggies not having played past the end of the regular season.