Meyer named I-AA's top offensive player

CHENEY, Wash. -- Quarterback Erik Meyer wrapped up a
record-setting career at Eastern Washington University by winning
the Walter Payton Award, given to the top offensive player in NCAA
Division I-AA.
The senior from La Mirada, Calif., won the award Thursday
evening at the 19th Annual I-AA College Football Awards in
Chattanooga, Tenn., on the eve of the national championship game
between Northern Iowa and Appalachian State.
The other finalists were New Hampshire quarterback Ricky Santos
and Brown running back Nick Hartigan. The award was established in
1987 and is voted on by sports information directors and media
"When you're little you always dream about being a football
player and winning awards," said Meyer. "My first year at Eastern
I never dreamt about it. Last year when I was close I thought I had
a chance but it's just amazing to be with the other names who have
won this award."
Meyer led Eastern to back-to-back Big Sky Conference
championships and appearances in the I-AA Playoffs.
Meyer was 21-14 in three seasons as a starter, including 7-5
this year.
Coach Paul Wulff attended the ceremony and said the award
reflected well on EWU's program, which has a low profile in a state
dominated by professional and major college sports.
"It hasn't been a goal of myself or our program but now that
it's reality, it's a neat thing," said Wulff. "It's a great thing
for him and the program and the caliber of players we have in our
Meyer ended his college career on Nov. 26, when the Eagles lost
41-38 at Northern Iowa in the first round of the playoffs. He
passed for 387 yards and four touchdowns in the loss to finish with
4,003 yards and 30 touchdowns for the season.
Meyer has also been named the Big Sky Conference Offensive
Player of the Year for the second straight season.
Former Big Sky players who have won the award include Idaho's
John Friesz (1989), Weber State's Jamie Martin (1991), Idaho's Doug
Nussmeier (1993), Montana's Dave Dickenson (1995) and Northern
Arizona's Archie Amerson (1996).
In 2005, Meyer was second in I-AA in individual total offense as
he averaged 352 yards per game. His average of 333.6 passing yards
per game was second.
In addition to 30 touchdowns, he suffered just five
interceptions this year and had a passing efficiency rating of
With a completion percentage of .657, 10,261 yards, 84
touchdowns and just 17 interceptions in 42 career games, Meyer
broke the I-AA record for efficiency rating by quarterbacks with at
least 400 completions. His rating of 166.47 narrowly beat the
record of 166.27 set by Montana's Dickenson from 1992-95.