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  Former Arkansas quarterback Cole Kelley won the Walter Payton Award on Saturday as the best offensive player in the NCAA's Football Championship Subdivision. Kelley, who is in his second season at Southeastern Louisiana, is the 34th player to win the Payton Award, which is named for the Pro Football Hall of Fame running back who played college football at Jackson State. Before 1995, the Payton Award was presented to the most outstanding player in the FCS, but was changed to recognize the best offensive player after the Buck Buchanan Award was created for the nation's best defensive player.

Past winners of the Payton Award include Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Brian Westbrook and Jimmy Garoppolo. Kelley received 16 first-place votes and edged Eastern Washington quarterback Eric Barriere for the award. Kelley led the FCS with 2,662 passing yards and was fourth nationally with 18 touchdown passes during the 2020 season, which was played this spring due to the covid-19 pandemic. He also rushed for 7 touchdowns and caught 2 touchdowns in 7 games. - Northwest Arkansas Times


(DS#9 QB) rSr/2022 QB Cole KelleySoutheastern Louisiana
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times


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