MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Ryan Nettles was named as one of 16 finalists for the Jerry Rice Award, which is presented to the national freshman of the year in college football’s Division I subdivision, announced by Stats Perform FCS on Monday.
Nettles finished the spring 2021 season completing 85 of his 144 attempts (59.0 percent) for 917 yards and eight touchdowns. He also rushed the ball for 110 yards and one touchdown in five games, with his most notable game coming against Mississippi Valley State where he finished with 361 yards of total offense and four total touchdowns. Nettles was named the SWAC Newcomer of the Week four times this spring and the Offensive Player of the Week one time.
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.
Nettles joins a list that includes Bronson Barron (Weber State), Quinton Cage (Nicholls), Isaac Dowling (Mercer), Draylen Ellis (Austin Peay), Ty French (Gardner-Webb), Mark Gronowski (South Dakota State), Billy Lucas (Duquesne), Seth Morgan (VMI), Tony Muskett (Monmouth), Tommy Schuster (North Dakota), Matthew Sluka (Holy Cross), Devon Starling (Tennessee State), Keyon Turner (Valparaiso), Jared Verse (Albany), and Cameron Ward (UIW).
A 40-member national media panel will select the winner from the unprecedented 2020-21 season, which spanned the fall and spring semesters. The recipient will be announced on May 3.
Courtesy: Alabama State Athletics