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.
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 this season.
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.
The Associated Press FCS All-America team was chosen by a panel of media members who cover FCS, with coordination from College Sports Information Directors of America:
Quarterback — Eric Barriere, senior, Eastern Washington.
Running backs — Otis Weah, sophomore; North Dakota; Julius Chestnut, sophomore, Sacred Heart.
Linemen — Cordell Volson, senior, North Dakota State; Drew Himmelman, senior, Illinois State; Garrett Greenfield, sophomore, South Dakota State; David Kroll, senior, Delaware; P.J. Burkhalter, senior, Nicholls.
Receivers — Jakob Herres, junior, VMI; Tyler Hudson, sophomore, Central Arkansas.
Tight end — Ryan Miller, junior, Furman.
All-purpose player — Christian Watson, junior, North Dakota State.
Kicker — Luis Aguilar, senior, Northern Arizona.
Linemen — Jared Brinkman, senior, Northern Iowa; Jahari Kay, senior, Sam Houston; Isiah Chambers, senior, McNeese State; Mike Greene, senior, James Madison.
Linebackers — La’akea Kaho’ohanohano-Davis, junior, Southern Utah; Stone Snyder, sophomore, VMI; Colby Campbell, senior, Presbyterian.
Secondary — Chris Edmonds, sophomore, Samford; Nicario Harper, sophomore, Jacksonville State; Robert Rochell, senior, Central Arkansas; Kendrick Whitehead, junior, Delaware.
Punter — Garrett Wegner, senior, North Dakota State.
Quarterback — Cole Kelley, senior, Southeastern Louisiana.
Running backs — Dejoun Lee, senior, Delaware; Percy Ageyi-Obese, senior, James Madison.
Linemen — Ty Whitworth, senior, Weber State; Nathan Nguon, senior, North Dakota; Colby Thomas, senior, Sam Houston State; Raymond Gillespie, senior, James Madison.
Tight end — Trae Berry, senior, Jacksonville State.
Receivers — Avante Cox, junior, Southern Illinois; Jequez Ezzard, senior, Sam Houston.
All-purpose player — Quay Holmes, junior, East Tennessee State.
Kicker — Ethan Ratke, senior, James Madison.
Linemen — Jordan Lewis, junior, Southern; Kobie Turner, junior, Richmond; Jevon Leon, sophomore, Sam Houston State; Kevin Glajchen, senior, San Diego.
Linebacker — Conner Mortensen, senior, Weber State; Bryson Armstrong, senior, Kennesaw; Tre Walker, junior, Idaho.
Secondary —- Don Gardner, senior, South Dakota State; Kordell Jackson, senior, Austin Peay; Qua Brown, senior, Southern Illinois; Decobie Durant, senior, South Carolina State.
Punter — Cade Coffey, senior, Idaho.
By Ralph D. Russo