Back-to-back: Eastern Washington quarterback Eric Barriere repeats as Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year

<p><p>So begins what could be a parade of awards for Eric Barriere.</p></p><p><p>The Eagles’ senior quarterback was named the Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year on Tuesday, the second season in a row he has been given the honor. This year, his selection was unanimous among the Big Sky’s coaches.</p></p><p><p>He headlined the Eagles’ list of all-conference selections, also announced Tuesday, that included first-teamers Talolo Limu-Jones (wide receiver) and Tristen Taylor (offensive line), both of them seniors.</p></p><p><p>Idaho Vandals linebacker Tre Walker and fullback Logan Kendall were selected as first-team all-conference players as well.</p></p><p><p>Barriere is also one of 25 finalists for the Walter Payton Award, which is given annually to the Offensive Player of the Year in the entire Football Championship Subdivision. Barriere finished second in voting for the award last year and fifth the year before that.</p></p><p><p>As far as the Big Sky honor goes, Barriere’s selection was not much of a surprise. After winning the award last spring, he was picked to be the league’s preseason MVP on offense, and throughout the season he picked up six weekly awards.</p></p><p><p>Through the 11-game regular season, Barriere has 4,257 passing yards, 40 touchdowns and six interceptions.</p></p><p><p>The Eagles (9-2 overall) host the University of Northern Iowa (6-5) in the first round of the FCS playoffs at 1 p.m. Saturday at Roos Field.</p></p><p><p>Barriere is the fourth Eastern player to win the Big Sky Player of the Year award twice, following Cooper Kupp (2015, 2016), Vernon Adams Jr. (2013, 2014) and Erik Meyer (2004, 2005).</p></p><p><h3>Eagles, Vandals land on All-Conference teams</h3></p><p><p>Eastern senior running back Dennis Merritt and senior wide receiver Andrew Boston were selected as members of the Big Sky’s second team all-conference. So far this season Merritt has 812 rushing yards and another 339 receiving as well as 17 touchdowns. Boston ranks second on the team behind Limu-Jones (55 receptions, 889 yards) with 51 catches and 791 yards receiving.</p></p><p><p>On the third-team offense are Eastern receivers Efton Chism III and Freddie Roberson as well as offensive lineman Wyatt Musser. Idaho running back Roshaun Johnson was also selected.</p></p><p><p>Named to the third team defense were Idaho end Charles Akanno as well as three members of the Eastern defense: tackle Josh Jerome, end Mitchell Johnson, linebacker Jack Sendelbach and safety Calin Criner.</p></p><p><p>Honorable mentions include Idaho defensive tackle Noah Ellis, Eastern linebacker Ty Graham and Idaho defensive back Tyrese Dedmon.</p></p>