PHILADELPHIA – University of North Dakota wide receiver Jameer Jackson (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) was among a trio of FCS freshman added to the Jerry Rice Award Watch List on Thursday, officials at The Sports Network announced. The Rice Award honors the national freshman of the year in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Jackson, who is among 19 players now on the watch list, ranks second among FCS freshmen with 33 receptions and 454 yards and shares the national lead of six touchdown receptions with fellow watch list member Sean Price of Appalachian State.
“Jameer has had a great season so far for a freshman,” Mussman said. “We have put a lot on his plate, and not only in the passing game, but he is critical for us in the run game because of his blocking. He is so big and physical and that makes him hard to bring down. He plays with an attitude as well. He is a competitor and wants to beat you. That is part of his strength.”
The redshirt freshman registered the first 100-yard receiving game of his career against No. 16 Northern Arizona this past Saturday, catching six passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns. It was the second multiple-touchdown game of his career. Jackson also had nine receptions, which are the most by a UND receiver in a game this season, the week before at current No. 1 Eastern Washington.
The Rice Award is named for legendary wide receiver Jerry Rice, who was a two-time first-team All-American in the FCS (then Division I-AA) at Mississippi Valley State, and will be voted on by a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries following the regular season. It will be presented at the FCS Awards Banquet on Dec. 17 in Philadelphia.
The list will grow to 20 finalists.
Nominees for the Jerry Rice Award Watch List:
Vernon Adams, Eastern Washington, Quarterback, 6-0, 180 - The surprise starter for the Eagles' third game, he entrenched himself a week later by totaling 407 yards of total offense and throwing two of his three touchdown passes in the final 2:19 of a win over rival Montana. The redshirt freshman has passed for 724 yards and eight touchdowns (with a 141.03 pass efficiency rating) and rushed for 159 yards for the top-ranked Eagles.
Kade Bell, Jacksonville, Quarterback, 6-1, 185 - The son of Jacksonville head coach Kerwin Bell surely has made his father proud. Bell has been steady throughout the season. In his first seven starts, the redshirt freshman has completed 104-of-173 passes for 1,379 yards with 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. He had five total touchdowns (four passing, one rushing) in a win over Morehead State.
Zak Browning, Southern Utah, Linebacker, 5-11, 215 - Browning has been an all-around force to start his career. Keyed by a career-high 18 tackles against Montana, Browning ranks fifth nationally at 11.3 per game through the Thunderbirds' first six games. He also has forced four fumbles, broken up two passes and been in on 1 1/2 sacks.
Reese Hannon, Furman, Quarterback, 6-2, 201 - Hannon became the Paladins' starting quarterback in their second game and proceeded to throw four touchdown passes against Coastal Carolina. Through his first six starts, he has a 133.28 pass efficiency rating, having completed 105-of-169 passes for 1,291 yards and six touchdowns with four interceptions. He also rushed for a touchdown against Chattanooga.
Ryan Heaston, Missouri State, Running Back, 5-10, 174 - After earning more carries, Heaston rushed for 126 yards against Southern Illinois and 148 yards against South Dakota State. The speedy redshirt freshman has 415 yards on 81 carries and 14 receptions for 166 yards through his first six games.
Telvin Hooks, Tennessee State, Running Back, 5-10, 190 - A redshirt freshman, Hooks has been a consistent threat in the Tigers' 7-0 start this season. His season has been highlighted by 108 rushing yards against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. He has totaled 398 yards (on 5.9 yards per carry) and two touchdowns in the season-opening stretch.
Jacob Huesman, UT-Chattanooga, Quarterback, 6-1, 190 - Huesman has made it easy for his father, Mocs coach Russ Huesman, to play him often as a redshirt freshman. The younger Huesman has gone out and performed well, compiling 1,233 yards of total offense in his first six games. He has completed 88-of-134 passes for 870 yards and eight touchdowns with three interceptions. Having rushed for 166 yards and one touchdown against Jacksonville State, he has 363 yards for the season.
Jameer Jackson, North Dakota, Wide Receiver, 6-3, 233 - Jackson has terrific size for a wide receiver. He has emerged as a playmaker behind UND standout Greg Hardin, catching 33 passes for 453 yards and six touchdowns in his first seven games. Against nationally ranked Northern Arizona, Jackson reeled in six passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
Miles Killebrew, Southern Utah, Strong Safety, 6-3, 201 - Talk about a safety valve, Killebrew has 46 tackles, including 27 solos, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery in his first seven games. The redshirt freshman totaled 15 stops in the Thunderbirds' first-ever Big Sky Conference game - a 49-42 win over Portland State.
Sawyer Kollmorgen, Northern Iowa, Quarterback, 6-2, 215 - UNI has faced some early season growing pains, but its redshirt freshman signal-caller has held his own. Through his first six games, Kollmorgen ranks 10th in the FCS in passing efficiency (151.66), completing 108-of-178 pass attempts for 1,528 yards and 12 touchdowns against three interceptions. He threw for a career-high 333 yards with three touchdowns against Youngstown State.
T.J. Lally, South Dakota State, Linebacker, 6-0, 225 - Lally broke out for a four-sack game against UC Davis - the most in SDSU's Division I era - along with 10 solo tackles and a fumble recovery. Overall, the redshirt freshman has 48 tackles in his first six games, adding one interception, two pass breakups and one forced fumble to his all-around production.
Trent McKinney, Montana, Quarterback, 6-0, 198 - McKinney has given Montana some Hawaiian punch this season. The native of Miliani, Hawaii, is a dual-threat under center. He has completed 125-of-192 pass attempts for 1,277 yards and eight touchdowns with eight interceptions, while rushing for 379 yards and seven touchdowns in the Grizzlies' first seven games.
Sean Price, Appalachian State, Wide Receiver, 6-5, 210 - Price already has drawn comparisons to former ASU great Brian Quick. The redshirt freshman didn't play in two of the Mountaineers' first three games, but went over 100 receiving yards in three straight games to tie a school record. He has caught 34 passes for 488 yards and six touchdowns in his first five games.
J.J. Raffelson, Western Illinois, Linebacker, 6-3, 235 - Possessing terrific size for a redshirt freshman, Raffelson is off to a big start to his career. He has averaged nine tackles through WIU's first six games, which ranks second nationally among freshman players. He had 13 tackles and a pass breakup against Illinois State.
Luke Rhodes, William & Mary, Linebacker, 6-2, 230 - It appears all Rhodes for ball carriers lead to the Tribe's middle linebacker. A redshirt freshman, Rhodes began his career with 11 tackles against Maryland. Through seven games, he has 61 tackles, including four for loss, with three pass breakups and one forced fumble.
Brendon Riddick, Norfolk State, Running Back, 5-11, 210 - Riddick has shared time in the NSU backfield, but come on strong. In his first seven games, including three starts, he has rushed for 354 yards and six touchdowns on 65 carries. The redshirt freshman also has another touchdown on seven receptions. He was the Spartans' scout team quarterback last year, but moved to running back this past spring.
John Robertson, Villanova, Quarterback, 6-1, 200 - A dual-threat under center, Robertson has run the surging Wildcats' offense efficiently. The redshirt freshman has completed 89-of-153 pass attempts for 1,184 yards and six touchdowns with four interceptions in the Wildcats' 5-2 start. On the ground, he has rushed for 627 yards (best among freshmen) on 104 carries with eight touchdowns.
Andre Stubbs, Youngstown State, All-Purpose, 5-6, 160 - Officially Stubbs is listed at wide receiver, but the redshirt freshman does a little bit of everything for the Penguins. As a runner, receiver and return specialist, he has averaged 120 all-purpose yards through his first six games. He collected 172 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns in the season-opening win at Pittsburgh.
Josh Woodrum, Liberty, Quarterback, 6-3, 210 - An accurate passer, Woodrum came on strong after becoming the starter in the Flames' third game. Through his first six games, the redshirt freshman ranks fifth nationally with a 162.38 pass efficiency rating, completing 98-of-131 pass attempts for 1,186 yards and seven touchdowns with four interceptions. Included was a 373-yard, three-touchdown performance against Gardner-Webb.
— Go UND —