FRISCO – For just the second time in FCS history the Walter Payton Award has a repeat winner after Sam Houston State quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe claimed the award for the second year in a row on Friday night at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet.
Briscoe, who will also be honored during Saturday’s FCS National Championship Game as the FCS ADA Offensive Player of the Year, joins former Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards (2008 & 2009) as the only two players in FCS history to claim the 31-year old award multiple times.
After winning the award in a landslide in 2016, this year’s race was closer as he collected 40 first-place votes and finished with 360 total votes to edge South Dakota quarterback Chris Streveler who finished as the runner-up with 290 total votes. UC Davis wide receiver Keelan Doss was the third invitee to the banquet and finished as the second runner-up in the voting with 189 total votes.
"Winning this award last year meant everything to me and I think this year it means a little more," Briscoe said on stage after winning the award. "My college career has been an absolute roller coaster. To go from UAB, playing a couple of games and then finding out the program was shutting down, I had no idea what I was going to do. But Coach Keeler and Sam Houston gave me a great opportunity and if someone would have told me three years later that I would have won the Walter Payton Award back-to-back, I’d have called them a liar straight to their face."
"I believe everything happens for a reason and that if you stay the course and trust in God, everything will work out."
Briscoe and Streveler did go head-to-head this year on the field as well in the second round of the FCS playoffs in what was one of the most entertaining games of the year in the FCS. That day the Kats pulled out a 54-42 win over Streveler’s Coyotes, with Briscoe tossing for 505 yards and four touchdowns while Streveler threw for 520 yards and five scores.
The second team all-Southland Conference quarterback led the FCS and set a SHSU single-season record with 5,003 yards passing in 2017, while also leading the country for the second consecutive season with 45 touchdown passes.
The Bearkat trigger man is the first Kat to throw for 5,000 yards in a season and threw for at least 300 yards in 11 of Sam Houston’s 14 games. He connected on 102 touchdowns and just shy of 10,000 yards in his two Payton Award campaigns.
Briscoe led the Kats to a 12-2 record and the semifinals of the FCS playoffs for the third time in four years this season, helping the Sam Houston offense become the first FCS school to lead the nation in total offense in three consecutive years since Portland State did so from 1978-80, the first three years following the split of Division I into I-A and I-AA.
He exits Sam Houston as the school’s all-time leader in total yards passing, total offense and touchdown passes while also holding the single-season records in each of those categories.
BREAKING NEWS: @BearkatsFB QB Jeremiah Briscoe is the 2017 @FCS_STATS Walter Payton Award recipient. Briscoe becomes only the 2nd back-to-back winner, joining @AppState_FB's Armani Edwards (2008-09). #SouthlandStrong pic.twitter.com/57c1cgOApa— Southland Conference (@SouthlandSports) January 6, 2018