Five HBCU Freshmen on Rice Award Watch List

Savannah State’s Marquis Smith is one of five HBCU players nominated for the Jerry Rice Award. (Zimbino photo)

Last week, we told you about HBCU freshmen making an impact on college football. It turns out we weren’t the only ones who have taken notice. The Sports Network released the intital Jerry Rice Award Watch List, and five of the players on it play for HBCUs. The award is given every year to the top freshman in the FCS.

Three of the five players compete in the MEAC, and two compete in the SWAC. Here’s the complete list.

*Kourtney Berry, LB, Alabama State
Six games: 53 TT (26 solo), 8.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 PBU, 1 FR

*Lawrence Forbes, P, Morgan State
Six games: 24 punts, 45.8-yard average, 78 long, 8 inside 20, 6 50 yards-plus

*Javancy Jones, DE, Jackson State Six games: 29 TT (14 solo), 10.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 PBU, 1 QBH, 1 FF, 1 TD

// *Michael Jones, CB, North Carolina Central 
Five games: 21 TT (14 solo), 1 TFL, 4 INT, 6 PBU

*Marquis Smith, LB, Savannah State
Six games: 60 TT (39 solo), 3.5 TFL

The award, named after the former Mississippi Valley State wide receiver, has never been given to an HBCU player in its two-year history.

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