Last season, Villanova linebacker Dillon Lucas was the hot freshman in the CAA, winning the CAA's Defensive Rookie of the Year award and finding himself a nominee for The Sports Network's inaugural Jerry Rice Award, which will be given annually to the best freshman player at the FCS level. Lucas didn't win the award last year -- Towson running back Terrance West took home the prize -- but he started a tradition for the Wildcats.
Today, the first edition of the 2012 Jerry Rice Award watch-list was announced and no-surprise, but Freshman quarterback John Robertson was named among the nominees. In the first five weeks of the football season, Robertson has been picked as the CAA's rookie of the week three times.
John Robertson, Villanova, Quarterback, 6-1, 200 - A dual threat under center, Robertson has run the Wildcats offense efficiently. The redshirt freshman has completed 55-of-97 pass attempts for 725 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. On the ground, he has rushed for 321 yards on 62 carries, with one touchdown in each of the five games. The 'Cats won only twice last season, but are off to a 4-1 start.
The award will be voted on by a panel of college sports information directors, media relations personnel, broadcasters, writers and others at the conclusion of the 2012 regular season. Additional nominees will be added as the season continues, with a final watch-list of 20 finalists expected.
An announcement for the winner of the Rice Award, along with the other awards given by TSN, will be made at the FCS National Banquet, to be held in Philadelphia on December 17th
The full watch-list of nominees follows:
- Vernon Adams, Eastern Washington, Quarterback
- Zak Browning, Southern Utah, Linebacker
- Reese Hannon, Furman, Quarterback
- Ryan Heaston, Missouri State, Running Back
- Telvin Hooks, Tennessee State, Running Back
- Jacob Huesman, UT-Chattanooga, Quarterback
- Miles Killebrew, Southern Utah, Strong Safety
- Sawyer Kollmorgen, Northern Iowa, Quarterback
- T.J. Lally, South Dakota State, Linebacker
- Trent McKinney, Montana, Quarterback
- Sean Price, Appalachian State, Wide Receiver
- J.J. Raffelson, Western Illinois, Linebacker
- Brendon Riddick, Norfolk State, Running Back
- John Robertson, Villanova, Quarterback
- Luke Rhodes, William & Mary, Linebacker
- Andre Stubbs, Youngstown State, All-Purpose