16 Finalists Announced for 10th FCS Jerry Rice Award
FCS

16 Finalists Announced for 10th FCS Jerry Rice Award

Sixteen finalists were announced on Monday for the Stats Perform FCS Jerry Rice Award, which is presented to the national freshman player of the year in college football’s Division I subdivision.

The Rice Award is named for the legendary Hall of Fame wide receiver and is celebrating its 10th anniversary season. Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp is the most prominent winner of the award, and the most recent recipient in 2019, former North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance, is projected to be one of the early selections in the NFL Draft on April 29.

A 40-member national media panel will select the winner from the unprecedented 2020-21 season, which has spanned the fall and spring semesters. The recipient will be announced on May 3.

Also in the next month, 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 Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

2020-21 JERRY RICE AWARD FINALISTS

Bronson Barron, Weber State, QB (Big Sky)

Statistics: 56 of 101 (55.4 percent), 847 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INTs (4 games)

Notable: 17 of 27, 312 yards, 4 TDs vs. Idaho State

Quinton “Pig” Cage, Nicholls, Nickel (Southland)

Statistics: 30 tackles (22 solo), 11 TFL for 48 yards, 2.5 sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT, 2 PBU, 3 QBH (7 games)

Notable: 7 TFL in consecutive games vs. Lincoln and Lamar

Isaac Dowling, Mercer, LB (Southern)

Statistics: 90 tackles (41 solo), 8.5 TFL for 59 yards, 6.5 sacks, 2 FF, 2 QBH, 3 PBU (10 games)

Notable: back-to-back 16-tackle games to begin career; 17 tackles, FF vs. Samford

Draylen Ellis, Austin Peay, QB (Ohio Valley)

Statistics: 104 of 201 (51.7 percent), 1,270 yards, 14 TDs, 4 INT; 2 rush TDs (7 games)

Notable: 23 of 43, 262 yards, 6 TDs vs. Southeast Missouri

Ty French, Gardner-Webb, DE (Big South)

Statistics: 34 tackles (13 solo), 8 TFL for 38 yards, 4 sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR, 9 QBH, 1 PBU, 1 BK (4 games)

Notable: 12 tackles, 4 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 2 QBH vs. Elon

Mark Gronowski, South Dakota State, QB (Missouri Valley)

Statistics: 76 of 133 (57.1 percent), 1,051 yards, 8 TDs, 3 INTs; 383 rush yards, 6 TDs (6 games)

Notable: 309 pass yards, 2 TDs vs. North Dakota; 3 100-yard rush games

Billy Lucas, Duquesne, RB (Northeast)

Statistics: 66 carries, 297 yards, 4.5 ypc, 2 TDs (5 games)

Notable: 110 rush yards in consecutive games vs. Bryant and Sacred Heart

Seth Morgan, VMI, QB (Southern)

Statistics: 92 of 121 (76.0 percent), 1,088 yards, 8 TDs, 1 INT; 198 rush yards, 2 TD (6 games)

Notable: Accounted for 1,165 yards of total offense and 9 TDs in final three starts

Tony Muskett, Monmouth, QB (Big South)

Statistics: 51 of 82 (62.2 percent), 742 yards, 8 TDs, 0 INTs (3 games)

Notable: 19 of 23, 290 yards, 4 TDs vs. Kennesaw State

Ryan Nettles, Alabama State, QB (SWAC)

Statistics: 85 of 144 (59.0 percent), 917 yards, 8 TDs, 5 INTs; 110 rush yards, 1 TD (5 games)

Notable: 361 yards of total offense, 4 total TDs vs. Mississippi Valley State

Tommy Schuster, North Dakota, QB (Missouri Valley)

Statistics: 100 of 153 (65.4 percent), 992 yards, 8 TDs, 3 INTs (5 games)

Notable: 29 of 37, 328 yards, 3 TDs vs. Western Illinois

Matthew Sluka, Holy Cross, QB (Patriot)

Statistics: 10 of 14 (71.4 percent), 111 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; 212 rush yards, 4 TDs (3 games)

Notable: 12 carries, 145 yards, 2 TDs with 1 TD pass vs. Fordham; 3 total TDs vs. Bucknell

Devon Starling, Tennessee State, RB (Ohio Valley)

Statistics: 124 carries, 647 yards, 5.2 ypc, 3 TDs (7 games)

Notable: 149 yards vs. Murray State; 134 yards, 1 TD vs. UT Martin

Keyon Turner, Valparaiso, CB (Pioneer)

Statistics: 25 tackles (7 solo), 2 TFL for 7 yards, 4 INTs with 37 return yards, 2 PBU, 2 FR, 1 QBH (6 games)

Notable: Interception or fumble recovery in all 6 games

Jared Verse, Albany, DE (CAA)

Statistics: 22 tackles (15 solo), 10 TFL for 36 yards, 4 sacks, 1 QBH, 1 BK (4 games)

Notable: 4 TFL, 2 sacks vs. Rhode Island; 10 tackles, 3 TFL vs. Stony Brook

Cameron Ward, UIW, QB (Southland)

Statistics: 183 of 303 (60.4 percent), 2,260 yards, 24 TDs, 4 INTs; 2 rush TDs (6 games)

Notable: 300+ pass yards in all 6 games; 6 TD passes vs. Southeastern Louisiana and Nicholls