Four nominated to Jerry Rice Award Watch List

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Updated: 10/31/2013 3:31 pm

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Four fast-developing freshmen were added to the Jerry Rice Award Watch List on Thursday.

The Rice Award, now in its third season, honors the top first-year player in the FCS, whether a true freshman or a redshirt freshman.

The new additions were Southeast Missouri State defensive tackle Austin Black, North Carolina A&T running back Tarik Cohen, Appalachian State punter Bentlee Critcher and Bucknell running back C.J. Williams.

Critcher became the third player from Appalachian State on the Watch List, joining running back Marcus Cox and linebacker John Law.

The Rice Award, named for the legendary wide receiver who played in the FCS (then Division I-AA) at Mississippi Valley State, can undergo revision during the season.

The winner will be announced at The Sports Network FCS Awards Presentation Dec. 16 in Philadelphia.

The Watch List:

Kourtney Berry, LB, Alabama State, 6-foot, 210 Seven games: 62 TT (29 solo), 9 TFL, 5 sacks, 1 INT, 2 PBU, 1 FR

Austin Black, DT, Southeast Missouri State, 6-0, 232 Eight games: 38 TT (22 solo) 7.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 1 QBH

Trent Brittain, QB, Incarnate Word, 6-2, 195 Seven games: 111-of-208, 1,249 yards, 7 TD, 5 INT, 110.1 passing efficiency; 70 carries, 302 yards, 1 TD

Dillon Buechel, QB, Duquesne, 6-3, 176 Six games: 129-of-207, 1,550 yards, 9 TD, 7 INT, 132.8 passing efficiency

Tarik Cohen, RB, North Carolina A&T, 5-8, 170 Seven games: 95 carries, 610 yards, 4 TD; 6 receptions, 122 yards, 1 TD

Marcus Cox, RB, Appalachian State, 5-10, 185 Seven games: 112 carries, 595 yards, 5 TD; 33 receptions, 498 yards, 5 TD

Bentlee Critcher, P, Appalachian State, 6-1, 175 Eight games: 37 punts, 45.4-yard average, 63 long, 10 inside 20, 13 50 yards- plus

Lawrence Forbes, P, Morgan State, 6-4, 180 Seven games: 29 punts, 44.8-yard average, 78 long, 8 inside 20, 6 50 yards- plus

Matt Johnson, QB, Charlotte, 6-3, 230 Seven games: 157-of-246, 1,860 yards, 19 TD, 8 INT, 146.3 passing efficiency; 57 carries, 208 yards, 1 TD

Javancy Jones, DE, Jackson State, 6-2, 230 Seven games: 33 TT (16 solo), 11 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 PBU, 2 QBH, 1 FF, 1 TD

Michael Jones, CB, North Carolina Central, 5-9, 175 Seven games: 26 TT (18 solo), 2 TFL, 4 INT, 7 PBU, 1 FR

Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington, 6-2, 195 Seven games: 33 receptions, 595 yards, 9 TD

John Law, LB, Appalachian State, 6-0, 225 Seven games: 59 TT (22 solo), 1 sack, 2 INT, 1 QBH, 1 FR, 1 FF

Christophe Mulumba, LB, Maine, 6-1, 230 Seven games: 55 TT (15 solo), 1.5 sacks, 2 INT, 2 PBU, 1 FR

RJ Noel, QB Sacred Heart, 6-1, 190 Eight games: 114-of-208, 1,494 yards, 18 TD, 3 INT, 140.1 passing efficiency; 90 carries, 424 yards, 5 TD

Donald Payne, S, Stetson, 6-0, 191 Six games: 57 TT (36 solo), 7 TFL, 1 sack, 2 INT, 7 PBU, 2 QBH, 2 FR, 2 FF, 2 TD

Peter Pujals, QB, Holy Cross, 6-2, 185 Six games: 115-of-177, 1,294 yards, 12 TD, 2 INT; 77 carries, 302 yards, 6 TD

Martin Ruiz, RB, Youngstown State, 5-11, 195 Eight games: 117 carries, 775 yards, 12 TD; 12 receptions, 125 yards, 1 TD; 119.6 all-purpose yards per game

Marquis Smith, LB, Savannah State, 6-3, 235 Eight games: 79 TT (49 solo), 8 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT

Gage Steele, LB, James Madison, 6-1, 230 Seven games: 65 TT (24 solo), 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 2 PBU, 1 FF

Payton Usher, RB, Mercer, 5-7, 162 Seven games: 103 carries, 707 yards, 2 TD; 9 receptions, 81 yards; 125.1 all- purpose yards per game

C.J. Williams, RB, Bucknell, 6-1, 205 Six games: 135 carries, 582 yards, 6 TD; 6 receptions, 41 yards, 1 TD

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