Walter Payton Award

Walter Payton Award
Walter Payton Award
Given for "Most outstanding offensive player in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision"
Country United States
Presented by STATS LLC
First award 1987, 31 years ago
Most recent Jeremiah Briscoe, QB
Sam Houston 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 31 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 bust 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]


2017Jeremiah Briscoe (2)Sam Houston StateQuarterback
2016Jeremiah BriscoeSam Houston StateQuarterback
2015Cooper KuppEastern WashingtonWide receiver
2014John RobertsonVillanovaQuarterback
2013Jimmy GaroppoloEastern IllinoisQuarterback
2012Taylor HeinickeOld DominionQuarterback
2011Bo Levi MitchellEastern WashingtonQuarterback
2010Jeremy MosesStephen F. AustinQuarterback
2009Armanti Edwards (2)Appalachian StateQuarterback
2008Armanti EdwardsAppalachian StateQuarterback
2007Jayson FosterGeorgia SouthernQuarterback
2006Ricky SantosNew HampshireQuarterback
2005Erik MeyerEastern WashingtonQuarterback
2004Lang CampbellWilliam & MaryQuarterback
2003Jamaal BranchColgateRunning back
2002Tony RomoEastern IllinoisQuarterback
2001Brian WestbrookVillanovaRunning back
2000Louis IvoryFurmanRunning back
1999Adrian PetersonGeorgia SouthernRunning back
1998Jerry AzumahNew HampshireRunning back
1997Brian FinneranVillanovaWide receiver
1996Archie AmersonNorthern ArizonaRunning back
1995Dave DickensonMontanaQuarterback
1994Steve McNairAlcorn StateQuarterback
1993Doug NussmeierIdahoQuarterback
1992Michael PaytonMarshallQuarterback
1991Jamie MartinWeber StateQuarterback
1990Walter DeanGramblingRunning back
1989John FrieszIdahoQuarterback
1988Dave MeggettTowson StateRunning back
1987Kenny GambleColgateRunning back

Past finalists


  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. Erik Meyer wins 2005 Walter Payton Award Archived 2011-04-04 at the Wayback Machine. Sports Network
  6. Ricky Santos wins the 2006 Walter Payton Award Archived 2011-04-04 at the Wayback Machine. Sports Network
  7. Sweet: Foster wins Walter Payton Award Savannah Now, December 13, 2007
  8. Donaldson third in Payton Award voting McDonough Voice, December 19, 2008
  9. Edwards a Payton Award finalist Watauga Democrat, November 30, 2009
  10. Presley Invited to Payton Ceremony, December 1, 2010
  12. "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.
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