EWU’s Barriere and Ojoh named Hero Sports preseason All-Americans

Eastern senior quarterback is on the second team and junior linebacker is named to the third team
Eastern senior quarterback is on the second team and junior linebacker is named to the third team in 2020.
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Eastern senior quarterback is on the second team and junior linebacker is named to the third team in 2020.

CHENEY, Wash. – Eastern Washington University football players Eric Barriere and Chris Ojoh have earned recognition by HERO SPORTS on its NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Preseason All-America Team released Thursday (May 28).

Barriere was a second team choice, while Ojoh was on the third team. Barriere is a senior quarterback from Inglewood, Calif. (La Habra HS ’16) and Ojoh is a junior linebacker from Sunland, Calif. (Bishop Alemany HS ’17).

Barriere is 16-7 as a starter at EWU, including a perfect 11-0 in home games at Roos Field. He enters his senior season with a streak of 239 passes without an interception, with his last interception coming on his 14th attempt at Sacramento State (10/5/19).

His second season as a starter for EWU in 2019 ended with him fifth in the voting for the prestigious Walter Payton Award presented by STATS and third team FCS All-America honors from Hero Sports. He was a third team All-Big Sky selection as chosen by the league’s head coaches and was also EWU’s offensive player of the year.

A year ago, Barriere finished second in FCS in total offense with an average of 355.8 yards per game and was third in passing (309.3). He was also ninth with 31 touchdown passes and fourth in points responsible for (20.2 per game with 31 TDs passing, eight rushing and a two-point conversion).

Ojoh redshirted in 2019, but played in four games in accordance with a new NCAA rule that allows student-athletes to play in up to four games and still redshirt. He started EWU’s first three games before being shelved with an injury, and finished the year with 27 tackles a pass broken up and a quarterback hurry.

As a sophomore in 2018, Ojoh finished the season with 105 tackles to rank 27th all-time at EWU. He started the last six games of EWU’s seven-game winning streak from Oct. 17 to Dec. 15 and led the way with 58 tackles, a touchdown-saving interception, six quarterback hurries, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass broken up.

More on Ojoh . . . 

Ojoh started the 2019 season being selected as the team’s defensive player of the week against Washington (8/31/19) when he finished with a career-high 11 tackles. He then had five in the next game versus Lindenwood (9/7/19) and a pair the week after against Jacksonville State (9/14/19). He didn’t play again until Montana (10/26/19) and he finished with nine tackles, but was redshirted after that.

As a sophomore in 2018, Ojoh had a fumble recovery on a sack and forced fumble by Jim Townsend with 11 seconds left to clinch a 34-29 victory over UC Davis (12/8/18) in the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs. He made his starting debut as an Eagle versus Cal Poly (9/22/18) and ended up starting eight total games. He had 11 tackles and a sack in the NCAA Division I Championship Game against North Dakota State (1/5/19), and also had 11 tackles versus Nicholls (12/1/18) in the second round of the playoffs. He had four performances with at least 10 tackles, including two with a career-high 11. He had 10 tackles, a forced fumble and a key quarterback hurry in a 59-20 victory over UC Davis (11/10/18).

More on Barriere . . .

In his career, Barriere has had 13 performances of at least 300 yards of total offense and eight with at least 300 yards passing in his 31 games as an Eagle. He has had six with at least 400 yards of total offense and three with at least 400 passing. He has completed 59.7 percent of his passes (463-of-775), good for 6,300 yards, 56 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, and has rushed 236 times for 1,219 yards and 17 more TDs. He had a passing efficiency rating of 146.9 as a sophomore, 151.6 in 2019 and a 148.3 mark in his career to currently rank fifth in school history. His touchdown passes rank sixth, his total of 7,519 yards of offense already rank sixth all-time at EWU and his passing yardage is seventh.

Barriere is just 13 yards behind the EWU career rushing record for a quarterback of 1,232 yards set by Vernon Adams Jr. (2012-14). In addition he is seventh all-time at EWU in completion percentage (59.7), 10th in passing yards per game (203.2), fifth in average yards per pass play (8.1), seventh in average yards per completion (13.6), seventh in total completions (463), eighth in total attempts (775), seventh in offensive yards per game (242.5), sixth in total offense per play (7.44) and sixth in total touchdowns responsible for (73).

Besides being 16-7 in 23 games as a starter, Eastern is 16-1 when he’s rushed for at least 21 yards, with the lone loss coming at Sacramento State (10/5/19) when he finished with 103. Besides the Sac State game, he’s rushed for at least 98 yards on four other occasions (98/Southern Utah/2018, 99/Portland State/2018, 101/Northern Arizona/2019, 164/Cal Poly/2019). He has now been honored three times in his career as Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week, including twice in the 2019 season.

He closed his junior season in 2019 with 239 passes without an interception, setting the school’s single season record for interceptions-to-attempts ratio. He had only four picks in 438 attempts, a miniscule average of .009 per attempt compared to the previous record of .010 set by Erik Meyer in 2005 (five interceptions in 410 attempts). His last interception came on his 14th attempt at Sacramento State (10/5/19). Barriere finished with the seventh-most passing yards in school history with 3,712, and his 31 touchdown passes is eighth. Including 558 rushing yards, his 4,270 yards of total offense was third-most all-time at EWU.

Barriere ended the 2019 season with 260 yards and three touchdowns passing, and another 23 yards and a score on the ground in EWU’s 53-46 win over Portland State (11/23/19). He had pass completions of 46 and 50 yards, giving him 28 plays in his career of at least 40 yards. One game earlier, he had a career-best 164-yard rushing performance at Cal Poly, finishing with one TD rushing and one passing. He also had 176 yards through the air to give him 340 yards of total offense