Walter Payton Award

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Walter Payton Award
FCS Payton Award.jpg
Walter Payton Award
Given for"Most outstanding offensive player in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision"
CountryUnited States
Presented bySTATS LLC
First award1987, 33 years ago
Most recentTrey Lance, QB
North Dakota State

The Walter Payton Award is awarded annually to the most outstanding offensive player in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) of college football as chosen by a nationwide panel of media and college sports information directors.[1] The honor was first given 33 years ago in 1987 to the outstanding player in the division, but in 1995, eligibility was restricted to offensive players, as the Buck Buchanan Award for defensive players was inaugurated.

The award was named in honor of the late National Football League (NFL) legend Walter Payton, who starred at Jackson State University in the early 1970s.[2]

Among the many schools in the division, only nine have claimed more than one award, and only seven have had more than one player win the award. Eastern Washington and Villanova had three players win the award, and five have had two players win: Colgate, Georgia Southern, Idaho, New Hampshire, and Eastern Illinois. Two players have won the award twice, with both being the only players from their institutions to win. In 2009, Armanti Edwards from Appalachian State became the first to receive the award twice,[3] followed in 2017 by Jeremiah Briscoe from Sam Houston State.[4]

The most recent winner, Trey Lance of North Dakota State in 2019, is the first freshman ever to receive the award.[5]

The award was named to honor the late Walter Payton.
Armanti Edwards is the first of two two-time winners of the award.


Year Player School Position
2019 Trey Lance North Dakota State QB
2018 Devlin Hodges Samford QB
2017 Jeremiah Briscoe (2) Sam Houston State QB
2016 Jeremiah Briscoe Sam Houston State QB
2015 Cooper Kupp Eastern Washington WR
2014 John Robertson Villanova QB
2013 Jimmy Garoppolo Eastern Illinois QB
2012 Taylor Heinicke Old Dominion QB
2011 Bo Levi Mitchell Eastern Washington QB
2010 Jeremy Moses Stephen F. Austin QB
2009 Armanti Edwards (2) Appalachian State QB
2008 Armanti Edwards Appalachian State QB
2007 Jayson Foster Georgia Southern QB
2006 Ricky Santos New Hampshire QB
2005 Erik Meyer Eastern Washington QB
2004 Lang Campbell William & Mary QB
2003 Jamaal Branch Colgate RB
2002 Tony Romo Eastern Illinois QB
2001 Brian Westbrook Villanova RB
2000 Louis Ivory Furman RB
1999 Adrian Peterson Georgia Southern RB
1998 Jerry Azumah New Hampshire RB
1997 Brian Finneran Villanova WR
1996 Archie Amerson Northern Arizona RB
1995 Dave Dickenson Montana QB
1994 Steve McNair Alcorn State QB
1993 Doug Nussmeier Idaho QB
1992 Michael Payton Marshall QB
1991 Jamie Martin Weber State QB
1990 Walter Dean Grambling RB
1989 John Friesz Idaho QB
1988 Dave Meggett Towson State RB
1987 Kenny Gamble Colgate RB

Past finalists[edit]


  1. ^ "Walter Payton Award". The Sports Network. Retrieved 2008-12-22.
  2. ^ Roy Taylor (2002). "Walter Payton Biography". Bears History. Retrieved 2008-12-22.
  3. ^ "Armanti Edwards wins 2009 Walter Payton Award". The Sports Network. Archived from the original on 2011-04-04. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  4. ^ Chiusano, Anthony (January 5, 2018). "Sam Houston State QB Jeremiah Briscoe wins FCS Walter Payton Award for second straight year". Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Chiusano, Anthony (January 10, 2020). "North Dakota State QB Trey Lance wins 2019 FCS Walter Payton Award". Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  6. ^ Erik Meyer wins 2005 Walter Payton Award Archived 2011-04-04 at the Wayback Machine Sports Network
  7. ^ Ricky Santos wins the 2006 Walter Payton Award Archived 2011-04-04 at the Wayback Machine Sports Network
  8. ^ Sweet: Foster wins Walter Payton Award Savannah Now, December 13, 2007
  9. ^ Donaldson third in Payton Award voting McDonough Voice, December 19, 2008
  10. ^ Edwards a Payton Award finalist Watauga Democrat, November 30, 2009
  11. ^ Presley Invited to Payton Ceremony, December 1, 2010
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Old Dominion's Heinicke captures 2012 Walter Payton Award". The Sports Network. December 17, 2012. Archived from the original on August 22, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2012.

External links[edit]