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Right now probably isn’t the best time to compare one to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. But when you’re a quarterback from the same school, and you just won the same award, those comparisons are going to happen.

Monday night, Jimmy Garoppolo became the second Payton Award winner from Eastern Illinois, following in Romo’s footsteps. Garoppolo, who earned over half the first-place votes, beat Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams and Towson running back Terrance West, (who ended the Panthers season) to win the award for the top FCS player.

Giving all he accomplished this year, it’s far from surprising. Garoppolo led the FCS in passing yards (4,489), passing yards per game (374.1) and touchdown passes (48), He finished second in total offense (377.9 yards per game) and points responsible for (25.8 per game), third in passing efficiency (170.6), and fourth in completions per game (26.7). He also led Eastern Illinois to a No. 2 rankings, and the FCS quarterfinals.

EIU head coach Dino Babers has seen some great quarterbacks in his time, and rightfully put Garoppolo’s performance season up there with the best.

“Jimmy has had the best season from a college quarterback that I have ever seen, with the exception of maybe Robert Griffin when he won the Heisman at Baylor,” said Babers. “He is the engine that makes us go.”

Garoppolo, considered by many the top offensive NFL prospect in the FCS, is currently considered a mid-round pick.

The full list, including two other OVCers, is posted below.

Walter Payton Award............1st....2nd....3rd....4th....5th....Total

1. Jimmy Garoppolo, E. Illinois....74.....37.....13......8......3.....576

2. Vernon Adams, E. Washington.....30.....47.....26.....13......4.....446

3. Terrance West, Towson...........22.....22.....35.....27.....13.....370

4. Brock Jensen, North Dakota St....8......9.....12.....13.....11.....149

5. Michael Nebrich, Fordham.........3......5.....11......9.....20.....106

6. Zach Zenner, South Dakota St.....2......2.....10.....12.....14......86

7. Erik Lora, Eastern Illinois......0......3......9.....14.....18......85

8. Bryan Bennett, SE Louisiana......5......1......6.....13......8......81

9. John Robertson, Villanova........0......2......6......9......6......50

10. Quinn Epperly, Princeton.........0......6......3......3......9......48

11. Lorenzo Taliaferro, Coastal Car..0......3......6......4......8......46

12. Zach Bauman, Northern Arizona....1......2......1......4......5......29

13. Kyle Harbridge, Saint Francis....1......3......1......2......4......28

14. Fabian Truss, Samford............1......2......1......2......6......26

15. Mason Mills, San Diego...........0......0......1......7......5......22

16. Timothy Flanders, Sam Houston St.0......0......3......3......4......19

17. Walter Powell, Murray St.........0......3......0......1......3......17

18. Lee Kurfis, Lehigh...............0......0......0......3......4......10

19. Jeff Mathews, Cornell............0......0......2......0......0.......6

20. Isaiah Crowell, Alabama St.......0......0......1......0......2.......

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OVC Ball
Compiling all OVC non-conference games

2016 Football Standings

OVC Overall
Jacksonville State 7-0 10-2
UT Martin 6-2 7-5
Tennessee Tech 5-3 5-6
Tennessee State 4-3 7-4
Eastern Illinois 4-4 6-5
Murray State 4-4 4-7
SEMO 3-5 3-8
Eastern Kentucky 2-6 3-8
Austin Peay 0-8 0-11


2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVC Overall

EAST

Belmont 15-1 23-7
Morehead State 10-6 14-16
Jacksonville State 9-7 20-15
Tennessee State 8-8 17-13
Tennessee Tech 8-8 12-20
Eastern Kentucky 5-11 12-19

WEST

UT Martin 10-6 22-13
SEMO 9-7 15-18
Murray State 8-8 16-17
Austin Peay 7-9 11-19
Eastern Illinois 6-10 14-15
SIUE 1-15 6-24


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