EWU’s Bo Levi Mitchell Captures 2011 Walter Payton Award
FRISCO, Texas, Jan. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — (Sports Network) — As the injuries mounted for the Eastern Washington football team this season, Bo Levi Mitchell’s production increased when most quarterbacks would have endured a decline.
Mitchell was all too happy to put the Eagles on his throwing shoulder and carry them.
Friday night, the senior was honored for his record-setting season with the 2011 Walter Payton Award, which goes to the outstanding player in the Football Championship Subdivision. The 25th annual award, the most prestigious in the division, is presented by The Sports Network and sponsored by Fathead.com.
Mitchell, who one year ago was named the most outstanding performer when Eastern Washington won the FCS championship game in Frisco, collected 57 first-place votes and 453 points from a national panel of 131 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries. Lehigh quarterback Chris Lum and Indiana State running back Shakir Bell, who also were on hand at the FCS awards presentation, tied for second in the voting with 219 points each.
“He worked at (development) and we saw the growth – he worked hard to develop his skills and was tireless at studying video in order to better understand and operate our offense,” EWU head coach Beau Baldwin said of Mitchell, who transferred to the Big Sky Conference school from SMU following his sophomore year. “It culminated with his production this season and the way our team ended the year with six wins in our last seven games. I couldn’t be more proud of what he accomplished here.”
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Mitchell led the nation in passing yards (4,009) and touchdown passes (33) during the regular season. As Eastern Washington’s offense suffered seven key injuries (including five that were season-ending), the Big Sky’s offensive player of the year averaged 364.5 passing yards per game, which ranks ninth in FCS history. He completed 318-of-503 attempts (63.2 percent), with 13 interceptions. The Eagles finished with a 6-5 record.
“I’m blessed with more receivers around me that are so good,” said Mitchell, who is the first-team quarterback on The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS All-America Team.
Mitchell, from Katy, Texas, is the second player from Eastern Washington to win the Payton Award – quarterback Erik Meyer won in 2005 – and the sixth winner from the Big Sky.
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SOURCE The Sports Network