Tommy Schuster Named to Walter Payton Award Watchlist
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (UND Athletics) -North Dakota quarterback Tommy Schuster was named to the 2023 Walter Payton Award Watchlist on Wednesday morning. Schuster was one of 35 players named to the watchlist.
The Walter Payton Award, presented by FedEx Ground, is given annually to the national offensive player of the year in Division I FCS college football each season. The award debuted in 1987 to honor the most outstanding player in the FCS. In 1995, with the introduction of the Buck Buchanan Award for top defensive player, the Walter Payton Award was altered to only recognize the top offensive player each year.
This Tuesday, Schuster was named an honorable mention Preseason All-MVFC selection. Last season, Schuster cemented his place in UND history as the all-time record holder for passing yards in a career (6,819), all-time completions (635) and Division I touchdown passes thrown (44). He enters the 2023 season just 15 touchdown passes shy of becoming the all-time record holder at North Dakota.
The Macomb, Mich., native started every game at quarterback last season and finished the year ranked No. 2 in the MVFC and No. 8 nationally in completion percentage, completing 68.8 percent of his passes. He averaged 20.92 completions per game to sit No. 2 in the conference at the end of the season. Schuster also ranked No. 3 in the league in passing touchdowns (20) and No. 4 in both passing yards (2,730) and passing yards per game (227.5). His 136 points during the season was also No. 4 in the MVFC.
Schuster went 251-for-365 passing for 2,730 yards and 20 touchdowns while only surrendering five interceptions in 2022. He was named the MVFC Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors on Nov. 14 after going 24-for-28 passing for 223 yards and three scores in the 28-19 win over South Dakota. At the end of the season, Schuster was voted honorable mention All-MVFC, earned the MVFC President’s Council Academic Award, was named to the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society and gained Second Team MVFC All-Academic status.
The Walter Payton Award winner is revealed annually at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation the night before the FCS championship game in Frisco, Texas.
Schuster and the Fighting Hawks will open the season on Saturday, Sept. 2, hosting the Bulldogs of Drake inside the Alerus Center at 3 p.m. (CT).
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