Idaho State quarterback Tanner Gueller was named to the Walter Payton Award watch list, announced Wednesday.
The award honors the top offensive player in FCS football.
Gueller is having a career year. ISU’s fifth-year senior has completed 55.8 percent of his passes for 2,634 yards, 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Gueller’s touchdowns, yardage and passing efficiency all rank in the FCS’ top 10, and his 17.1 yards per completion and 9.54 yards per attempt lead the FCS.
Gueller has also added 361 yards rushing and three rushing touchdowns this season. His 332.8 yards of offense per game lead the Big Sky Conference and rank fourth in the FCS.
Gueller was named the player of the week in the Big Sky and the FCS after his eight-touchdown performance earlier this season in ISU’s 62-28 home win against Idaho. The eight TD tosses are an ISU single-game record and earned Gueller and the Bengals publicity on ESPN.
Gueller has moved into first place on ISU’s career record chart with 71 touchdown passes. He’s also second in passing attempts, third in passing completions and second in passing yardage in program history with two regular-season games remaining.
The last ISU player to be considered for the Walter Payton Award was quarterback Justin Arias in 2014. Arias finished third in the voting after that season.
Cal Poly fullback Joe Protheroe was also added to the Walter Payton Award watch list Wednesday. ISU (6-3, 5-1 Big Sky Conference) and Cal Poly (3-6, 2-4 Big Sky) face off Saturday in San Luis Obispo, California.
Gueller and Protheroe join fellow Big Sky student-athletes Gage Gubrud (Eastern Washington), Case Cookus (Northern Arizona) and UC Davis’ Jake Maier and Keelan Doss on the Walter Payton Award watch list.
The Walter Payton Award is voted on by a national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries, who select the winner following the regular season.