Eric Barriere leads eight College Football America Starting Lineup Picks on Payton Watch List

Eric Barriere

Eastern Washington quarterback Eric Barriere leads eight 2021 College Football America Yearbook FCS Preseason Starting Lineup selections named to the 2021 Walter Payton Award Preseason Watch List.

The Payton award is given to the nation’s top offensive player. Last year Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Cole Kelley won the award. Kelley is back for the 2021 season.

Barriere has more than 10,000 yards in total offense, has a 20-9 record as a starter and led the Eagles to the national title game at the end of the 2018 season, where they lost to North Dakota State.

Other players on both the Starting Lineup and the Payton Watch list include:

Running back Pierre Strong Jr., who just helped the South Dakota State Jackrabbits to the national championship game, where they lost to Sam Houston State. Strong rushed for 707 yards last year and, like Barreire, was a Payton Award finalist last season.

Sacred Heart running back Julius Chestnut rushed for 855 yards in just five games last season, earning third-team all-America honors. He, too, was a Payton finalist.

Southern Illinois wide receiver Avante Cox and VMI wide receiver Jakob Herres also made the preseason Payton Award list. Cox was a consensus All-American who caught 66 passes for the Salukis. Herres was also a consensus All-American who made 80 catches for 978 yards and eight touchdowns.

Three other offensive players are on the Payton Watch List and made the Starting Lineup on special teams.

Sam Houston State wide receiver Jequez Ezzard was the Most Outstanding Player in the FCS title game in leading the Bearkats to their first FCS crown. North Dakota State wide receiver Christian Watson was an All-American as a kickoff returner and an all-Missouri Valley selection at both wide receiver and kick returner. East Tennessee’s Quay Holmes rushed for 640 yards and eight touchdowns, finishing last season with 1,094 all-purpose yards in just six games.

The 2021 College Football America Yearbook features more than 20 pages of FCS content, including an overall preview of each conference, a spotlight piece on a stadium in each conference, the FCS Starting Lineup and all team schedules and results.

The College Football America 2021 Yearbook features more than 900 college football teams from the United States and Canada in more than 250 striking, full-color pages. That includes every team from the NCAA (FBS, FCS, Division II and Division III), NAIA, NJCAA, CCCAA and U Sports (Canada). It also includes updates on club football, one-year postgraduate prep/sports academies and Mexican college football, along with dozens of action shots and stadium photos taken by the CFA staff.

2021 College Football America FCS Starting Lineup

(Walter Payton Watch List Selections in Bold)


Pos., Name, School, Class

QB Eric Barriere, Eastern Washington, Sr.

RB Pierre Strong Jr., South Dakota State, Jr.

RB Julius Chestnut, Sacred Heart, Sr.

WR Avante Cox, Southern Illinois, Jr.

WR Jakob Herres, VMI, Sr.

OL Raymond Gillespie, James Madison, Sr.

OL Cordell Volson, North Dakota State, Sr.

OL J.D. DiRenzo, Sacred Heart, Sr.

OL P.J. Burkhalter, Nicholls State, Sr.

C Dacquari Wilson, North Carolina A&T, Jr.


Pos., Name, School, Class

DL Jahari Kay, Sam Houston State, Sr.

DL Isaiah Chambers, McNeese State, Sr.

DL Jordan Lewis, Southern, Jr.

DL Jared Brinkman, Northern Iowa, Sr.

LB Jared Folks, ETSU, Sr.

LB James Kaczor, North Dakota State, Jr.

LB Tre Walker, Idaho, Jr.

DB James Ceasar, Southern Illinois, Sr.

DB Zyon McCollum, Sam Houston State, Sr.

DB Nicario Harper, Jacksonville State, Jr.

DB Irshaad Davis, Alabama State, Jr.

Special Teams

Pos., Name, School, Class

P Daniel Whelan, UC Davis, Sr.

PK Ethan Ratke, James Madison, Sr.

KR Christian Watson, North Dakota State, Jr.

PR Jequez Ezzard, Sam Houston State, Sr.

PR Quay Holmes, ETSU, Jr.

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