E. Washington's Meyer wins Walter Payton Award

Updated: December 15, 2005, 9:11 PM ET
Associated Press

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Eastern Washington quarterback Erik Meyer won the Walter Payton Award Thursday night as the top offensive player in Division I-AA.

Meyer, an All-American, threw for 3,616 yards in the regular season, including 26 touchdowns and five interceptions. He led the Eagles to the Big Sky Conference's automatic berth in the playoffs.

New Hampshire quarterback Ricky Santos was second in the voting and Brown running back Nick Hartigan, who led the nation in rushing, was third.

The award was established in 1987 and is voted on by sports information directors and media members. William & Mary quarterback Lang Campbell won the Payton Award last season.

Cal Poly defensive end Chris Gocong won the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in I-AA. He had 19 sacks, 24 tackles for a loss, 79 tackles, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

New Hampshire coach Sean McDonnell won the Eddie Robinson Award as the top head coach after guiding the Wildcats to a 10-0 regular season record, the team's best since 1994.

The awards were presented on the eve of the I-AA championship game between Appalachian State and Northern Iowa.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press