FRISCO, Texas | Friday was all set up to be a University of South Dakota celebration when Chris Streveler won the Walter Payton Award as the best offensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision.
However, the multi-talented senior quarterback finished second in the voting to Jeremiah Briscoe of Sam Houston State, who won the award for the second straight season.
The announcement was made during the STATS FCS Banquet and Presentation here on the eve of the national championship game.
Briscoe finished with 360 votes to 290 for Streveler, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound athlete from Lake Crystal, Illinois, led the Coyotes to the FCS playoffs for the first time in school history.
USD finished 8-5 and advanced to the second round after being picked to finish seventh in the preseason Missouri Valley Football Conference poll.
He was one of three finalists along with quarterback Briscoe and wide receiver Keelan Doss of UC Davis.
There was a strong USD contingent on hand Friday, including Streveler’s teammates Stetson Dagel, Brandt Van Roekel and John Wessel. Numerous members of the coaching and athletic administration staffs made the trip south, as well as USD President Jim Abbott.
“I’m happy for him, we’re all competitive and obviously. I’m disappointed that I didn’t win but a lot of people came down to show support,” Streveler said shortly after the announcement. “I don’t think it was as much about winning as it was the support that everyone in Coyote Nation showed. Even the people who weren’t here. The messages on Twitter and text messages have been really remarkable and special.
“It is disappointing, I’m a competitive person, but at the same time it’s bigger than just winning the award. It was a great night.”
Streveler set 20 South Dakota records and five Missouri Valley Football Conference records this season, including passing yards (4,134) and total offense (4,854). He was named the MVFC Offensive Player of the Year and received the same award from Phil Steele Publications.
A graduate transfer from the University of Minnesota, Streveler passed for 4,134 yards, ran for 720 and accounted for 43 touchdowns (32 passing, 11 rushing). He led the nation in total offense, charting the eighth-highest total in FCS history.
“Chris is just a tremendous young man, a great football player but in a lot of ways he was even a better leader for our team,” USD Coach Bob Nielson said. “He led by example, through his competitiveness, and is very deserving of all the accolades and honors that he has received.”
Streveler was named first-team All-America quarterback by both STATS and the Associated Press.
The award is named for legendary college and pro football Hall of Famer Walter Payton and has been given to the outstanding offensive player in the FCS since 1987.
Past winners include Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Brian Westbrook, John Friesz, Brian Finneran, Jimmy Garoppolo and Cooper Kupp, each of whom went on to play in the National Football League.