SLU’s Kelley named Walter Payton Award finalist

Published 2:58 pm Monday, November 22, 2021

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Southeastern Louisiana University senior quarterback Cole Kelley was one of 25 finalists for the 2021 Stats Perform FCS Walter Payton Award announced by Stats Perform on Monday.

Kelley is looking to become the third two-time winner in the 35-year history of the award, named for the legendary Hall of Fame running back and presented to the national offensive player of the year in FCS.

After winning the honor in the spring, Kelley has been even better in the fall on the way to helping the Lions to its fourth postseason appearance in program history. The Lafayette, Louisiana native has thrown for 4,382 yards, 38 touchdowns and just six interceptions on 339-for-457 passing (74.2 percent), while also rushing for 16 scores.

Entering the postseason, Kelley is the national leader in passing yards, total offense (438.5 ypg), points responsible for (326), passing efficiency (179.5) and completion percentage. Ranked second in the FCS with 16 rushing touchdowns, Kelley is the nation’s only player in the top 10 in both passing and rushing touchdowns.

Kelley has rewritten the Southeastern record book in his time as a Lion. He closed out the regular season as the program’s single-season and career record holder in rushing touchdowns (33 – career, 16 – season), total touchdowns scored (35/16), passing yards (7,860/4,382), passing touchdowns (66/38), touchdowns responsible for (101/54) and total offense (8,561/4,824).

Behind a stalwart offensive line and dispersing the ball to a myriad of offensive weapons, Kelley has led a Lion offense that leads the nation in total offense (567.0 ypg), scoring offense (48.0 ppg), completion percentage (73.9) and first downs (328).

For ticket information, contact the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office at (985) 549-5466 or visit Southeastern will continue offering mobile ticketing as the primary source for securing tickets for the 2021-22 season. All tickets will be available via e-mail or text message in a PDF format for fans to download on their phone or print at home. Tickets can also be downloaded to Apple Wallet.

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Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the football program are encouraged to join the Touchdown Club. Lion football alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letter winners.

All membership fees and donations to both the Touchdown Club and S Club (football) are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern football program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at or (985) 549-5091 or visiting


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