Stats Perform has announced a midseason watch list of 22 FCS players for the 2023 Jerry Rice Award, which honors the national freshman of the year in college football’s Division I subdivision and is presented by FedEx Ground.
The Rice Award, now in its 13th season, is named after legendary Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice. Past recipients include Cooper Kupp, Chase Edmonds, Trey Lance and Shedeur Sanders.
Joining the Jerry Rice Award Watch List, which includes both true and redshirt freshmen:
Marqui Adams, Delaware State, QB, 6-1, 175 (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)
Camden Coleman, Richmond, QB, 6-3, 220 (CAA Football)
Quincy Craig, Portland State, RB, 5-9, 185 (Big Sky Conference)
Champ Dozier, Houston Christian, RB, 5-8, 180 (Southland Conference)
MJ Flowers, Eastern Illinois, RB, 6-1, 195 (Big South-OVC Football Association)
Syeed Gibbs, Rhode Island, DB, 6-0, 180 (CAA Football)
Eli Gillman, Montana, RB, 6-0, 206 (Big Sky Conference)
Carter Glassmyer, Saint Francis, LB, 6-1, 210 (Northeast Conference)
Malachi Hosley, Penn, RB, 5-10, 185 (Ivy League)
Brendan Jenkins, Samford, WR, 6-1, 200 (Southern Conference)
Jaylon Joseph, Lafayette, DE, 6-2, 240 (Patriot League)
Alex McLaughlin, Northern Arizona, DB, 6-2, 190 (Big Sky Conference)
Mack Mikko, Presbyterian, PK, 5-8, 175 (Pioneer Football League)
Zach Mitchell, Southern Utah, WR, 5-11, 200 (United Athletic Conference)
Conner Moore, Montana State, LT, 6-5, 306 (Big Sky Conference)
Tye Niekamp, Illinois State, LB, 6-3, 230 (Missouri Valley Football Conference)
Marco Patierno, Elon, LB, 6-0, 225 (CAA Football)
Aaron Sears, Stephen F. Austin, CB, 5-10, 190 (United Athletic Conference)
Beau Sparks, Utah Tech, WR, 5-11, 180 (United Athletic Conference)
Tak Tateoka, St. Thomas, QB, 6-3, 196 (Pioneer Football League)
VJ Wilkins, Campbell, WR, 5-10, 160 (CAA Football)
Ty’Jarian Williams, Mississippi Valley State, QB, 6-3, 240 (Southwestern Athletic Conference)
To be eligible for the Jerry Rice Award, a player must be considered a freshman by his conference in his first or second academic year without surpassing four games played in the previous academic year – similar to the NCAA’s regular redshirt rule. More players can join the watch list before a national media panel selects the winner following the regular season.
The Rice Award will be presented at the national awards banquet on Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas, along with 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.