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John Robertson named one of three Finalists for Walter Payton Award

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The Walter Payton Award honors the best player in FCS football every season.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Villanova Quarterback John Robertson joined EWU's Vernon Adams and Idaho State's Justin Arias as a finalist for the FCS' award for the top offensive player each season. The winner of the trophy will be presented by The Sports Network at their annual Awards Banquet on December 15th -- in Philadelphia.

Two prior Wildcats have taken home the award, starting with wide receiver Brian Finneran in 1997 (the only player at his position to win it) and running back Brian Westbrook in 2001. Both went on to have notable careers in the NFL.

Robertson led Villanova to a 10-2 record this season and the number-six seed in the NCAA's Division I Football Championship. He was among the top quarterbacks in FCS football in six different statistical categories, and was first in three of them -- points responsible for (combining passing and rushing touchdowns and two-point conversions), points responsible per game, and passing efficiency (183.0). He was second in passing touchdowns (34) and yards per attempt (9.32).

His 2014 season was enough to win him the CAA Football Conference's Offensive Player of the Year award, and a spot on the All-CAA First Team. He passed for a career-high four touchdowns in four straight games from September 20 through October 11, and has run for at least 100 yards four times this season. He led the Wildcats in rushing with 978 yards on the ground and completed 67% of his passes for 2,629 yards and 34 scores. He had just three interceptions all season.

Adams is another strong candidate for the award. The EWU quarterback passed for 2,876 yards and 30 touchdowns (with five interceptions) in just eight games this season. His team will also be hosting a playoff game this weekend. He generated 391.5 yards of offense per game.

Arias passed for 4,076 yards per game and 38 touchdowns with 10 interceptions at Idaho State. His team finished the season 8-4 with a 6-2 record within the Big Sky Conference, behind the strength of Arias' 4,105 yards of total offense (342.1 per game).