A&T, Elon Players In Running For Freshman Award

(STATS) - Past winners of the STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award reflect the increasing talent that joins the subdivision each year, and the 17 players nominated to the 2017 watch list on Wednesday have shown the future is now.

The Rice Award, named for the legendary Hall of Fame wide receiver, has been presented to the FCS freshman player of the year since 2011. Two of the first three winners, Towson running back Terrance West and Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp, are starters in the NFL, and the 2014 winner, Fordham running back Chase Edmonds, could be headed toward a pro career next season.

The nominees, listed alphabetically by last name:

Bryson Armstrong, Kennesaw State, LB, 5-11, 201, Marietta, Georgia
Statistics: 56 tackles, 6 TFL, 6 sacks, 3 INT, 4 PBU, 2 FR, 1 FF, 1 BLK (7 games)

Grant Breneman, Colgate, QB, 6-1, 195, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Statistics: 98 of 175 (56.1 percent), 1,188 yards, 12 TD, 1 INT; 89 carries, 268 yards, 4 TD (7 games)

Davis Cheek, Elon, QB, 6-2, 200, Matthews, North Carolina
Statistics: 93 of 148 (62.8 percent), 1,193 yards, 10 TD, 5 INT; 2 rushing TD (7 games)

Jabril Cox, North Dakota State, LB, 6-3, 220, Kansas City, Missouri
Statistics: 32 tackles, 4 1/2 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 FR, 1 FF (7 games)

Zane Dudek, Yale, RB, 5-9, 190, Kittanning, Pennsylvania
Statistics: 61 carries, 551 yards, 9.0 average, 8 TD; 11 receptions, 94 yards, 1 TD (6 games)

Wesley Dugger, Davidson, RB, 6-0, 192, Henrico, Virginia
Statistics: 136 carries, 721 yards, 4 TD (7 games)

Reynard Ellis, Furman, LB, 6-1, 227, Birmingham, Alabama
Statistics: 47 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 PBU, 1 QBH (7 games)

Jaron Grayer, Maine, LB, 6-0, 224, Steelton, Pennsylvania
Statistics: 47 tackles, 4 1/2 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 FF (6 games)

Pete Guerriero, Monmouth, RB, 5-10, 195, Lyndhurst, New Jersey
Statistics: 93 carries, 586 yards, 6 TD; 8 receptions, 40 yards; 4 KR, 46.0 average, 1 TD (6 games)

Gresch Jensen, Montana, QB, 6-2, 215, Auburn, Washington
Statistics: 109 of 178 (61.2 percent), 1,630 yards, 13 TD, 6 INT; 33 carries, 115 yards, 4 TD (7 games)

Torrance Marable, Presbyterian, RB, 5-10, 185, Decatur, Georgia
Statistics: 111 carries, 592 yards, 3 TD; 6 catches, 86 yards, 2 TD (7 games)

Franklin "Mac" McCain III, North Carolina A&T, CB, 5-11, 174, Greensboro, North Carolina
Statistics: 33 TKL, 1 TFL, 5 INT (274 return yards), 3 TD, 6 PBU (8 games)

Caylin Newton, Howard, QB, 5-11, 195, Atlanta
Statistics: 85 of 163 (52.2 percent), 1,549 yards, 9 TD, 8 INT; 103 carries, 542 yards, 9 TD (7 games)

Kaelan Riley, Mercer, QB, 6-3, 231, Calhoun, Georgia
Statistics: 138 of 216 (63.9 percent), 1,726 yards, 13 TD, 6 INT; 62 carries, 172 yards, 3 TD (8 games)

Daniel Smith, Campbell, QB, 6-0, 200. Leesburg, Virginia
Statistics: 104 of 184 (56.5 percent), 1,401 yards, 15 TD, 3 INT; 77 carries, 711 yards, 9.2 average, 4 TD (7 games)

Isaiah Totten, North Carolina Central, RB/KR, 5-9, 185, Apex, North Carolina
Statistics: 87 carries, 525 yards, 4 TD; 2 catches, 8 yards; 11 KR, 19.6 average (7 games)

Mark Williams, Eastern Illinois, CB, 6-0, 160, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Statistics: 40 tackles, 3 INT (73 return yards), 1 TD, 6 PBU, 1 FR (8 games)

The watch list will undergo change during the season. A national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will vote on 20 finalists following the regular season.

Also this season, STATS will present the Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year), Buck Buchanan Award (FCS defensive player of the year), Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year) and Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Copyright 2017 WFMY


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