25 FCS Freshmen Named Jerry Rice Award Finalists | The Analyst
FCS Freshman Player of the Year: 25 Finalists Named for 2022 Jerry Rice Award
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FCS Freshman Player of the Year: 25 Finalists Named for 2022 Jerry Rice Award

Stats Perform has announced 25 FCS finalists for the 2022 Jerry Rice Award, which is presented to the national freshman of the year in college football’s Division I subdivision.

The Rice Award, now in its 12th season, is named after legendary wide receiver Jerry Rice, who starred at Mississippi Valley State as part of his Hall of Fame career. Past recipients include NFL players Cooper Kupp, Chase Edmonds and Trey Lance.

The 2022 Jerry Rice Award finalists:

Quarterbacks

Cade Chambers, Indiana State, R-Fr., 6-4, 215 (MVFC)

65 of 146 (44.5%), 938 yards, 8 TDs, 3 INTs, 112.5 pass efficiency; 111 rush yards, 4 TDs (9 games)

Gevani McCoy, Idaho, R-Fr., 6-0, 175 (Big Sky)

185 of 272 (68.0%), 2,376 TDs, 25 TDs, 5 INTs, 168.1 pass efficiency; 2 rush TDs (10 games)

Brady Meitz, Stetson, R-Fr., 6-1, 182 (Pioneer)

203 of 345 (58.8%), 2,522 yards, 17 TDs, 10 INTs, 130.7 pass efficiency; 1 rush TD (9 games)

Reese Poffenbarger, UAlbany, R-Fr., 6-0, 210 (CAA)

227 of 369 (61.5%), 2,999 yards, 24 TDs, 4 INTs, 149.1 pass efficiency; 2 rush TDs (11 games)

Noah Walters, North Alabama, Fr., 6-0, 190 (ASUN)

151 of 285 (60.0%), 2,149 yards, 19 TDs, 12 INTs, 129.9 pass efficiency; 212 rush yards, 2 TDs (11 games)

Running Backs

Ryan Butler, Princeton, Fr., 5-11, 225 (Ivy)

128 carries, 501 yards (3.9 ypc), 11 TDs; 12 receptions, 1 TD (10 games)

Marquis Gillis, Delaware State, R-Fr., 6-0, 200 (MEAC)

112 carries, 545 yards (4.9 ypc), 5 TDs; 11 receptions (11 games)

Ismail Mahdi, Houston Baptist, Fr., 5-9, 180 (Southland)

112 carries, 568 yards (5.1 ypc), 2 TDs; 32 receptions, 333 yards, 3 TDs (8 games)

Joshua Pitsenberger, Yale, Fr., 6-0, 205 (Ivy)

120 carries, 667 yards (5.6 ypc), 7 TDs; 1 TD reception (10 games)

Sam Franklin, UT Martin, R-Fr., 5-10, 195 (Ohio Valley)

85 carries, 676 yards (8.0 ypc), 8 TDs; 12 receptions (11 games)

Desmond Reid, Western Carolina, Fr., 5-8, 170 (Southern)

119 carries, 826 yards (6.9 ypc), 4 TDs; 21 receptions, 212 yards, 1 TD (10 games)

Jerrell Wimbley, Stephen F. Austin, Fr., 5-11, 195 (WAC)

106 carries, 604 yards (5.7 ypc), 5 TDs; 12 receptions, 168 yards, 1 TD (10 games)

Wide Receivers

Seth Anderson, Charleston Southern, R-Fr., 6-0, 178 (Big South)

42 receptions, 612 yards (14.6 ypc), 7 TDs (10 games)

Makai Jackson, Saint Francis, Fr., 6-0, 190 (Northeast)

80 receptions, 920 yards (11.5 ypc), 8 TDs (11 games)

Defensive Linemen

Finn Claypool, Drake, R-Fr., 6-1, 240 (Pioneer)

48 tackles (28 solos), 14.5 TFLs (74 yards), 8 sacks, 11 QBH, 1 FR, 1 FF (11 games)

Eric O’Neill, LIU, R-Fr., 6-3, 240 (NEC)

51 tackles (32 solos), 21 TFLs (100 yards), 10 sacks, 1 PBU, 9 QBH, 2 FF (11 games)

Linebackers

Kohner Cullimore, Southern Utah, Fr., 5-11, 225 (WAC)

76 tackles (42 solos), 10 TFLs (60 yards), 2.5 sacks, 4 QBH, 1 FR, 1 FF (10 games)

Mason Woods, Towson R-Fr., 6-0, 200 (CAA)

77 tackles (27 solos), 5.5 TFL (12 yards), 1.5 sacks, 1 INT, 3 PBU (11 games)

Defensive Backs

Wedner Cadet, Georgetown, Fr., 6-1, 170 (Patriot)

35 tackles (24 solos), 5 INTs, 6 PBU, 1 FR (10 games)

Rex Connors, UC Davis, R-Fr., 6-1, 203 (Big Sky)

92 tackles (56 solos), 4 TFL (7 yards), 5 INTs, 5 PBU (10 games)

Eli Ennis, Nicholls, Fr., 6-2, 205 (Southland)

45 tackles (26 solos), 10 TFLs (30 yards), 2.5 sacks, 4 PBU, 7 QBH, 1 FF, 1 safety (9 games)

Travis Hunter, Jackson State, Fr., 6-1, 165 (SWAC)

12 tackles (8 solos), 2 INTs, 1 FR; 13 receptions, 140 yards (10.8 ypc), 2 TDs (6 games)

Jalen Jones, William & Mary, R-Fr., 6-0, 185 (CAA)

19 tackles (19 solos), 1 TFL (2 yards), 4 INTs, 7 PBU, 1 FR (10 games)

Adrian Maddox, Alabama State, Fr., 6-3, 200 (SWAC)

41 tackles (23 solos), 6 TFLs (24 yards), 1 sack, 2 INTs, 1 QBH, 1 FR, 1 BK (9 games)

Punter

Patrick Rohrbach, Montana, Fr., 5-11, 177 (Big Sky)

40 punts, 46.2 ypp, 42.2 net ypp, 68 long, 14 50+ yards (11 games)

To be eligible for the Jerry Rice Award, a freshman must be in his first or second academic year and can’t have surpassed four games played in the previous academic year – similar to the NCAA’s regular redshirt rule.

A national media panel will select the winner, with voting based on the regular season. The recipient will be announced on Dec. 7 and honored at the FCS National Awards banquet on Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas – on the eve of the national championship game.

Also this season, Stats Perform 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 FedEx Ground Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

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