Campbell, Davidson freshmen named to initial Jerry Rice Award Watch List

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
by Cody Bush, PFL Media Relations

CHICAGO – Campbell quarterback Daniel Smith and Davidson running back Wesley Dugger were among 17 freshmen named to the Jerry Rice Award Watch List, Wednesday.

The Jerry Rice Award is given annually to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision's most outstanding freshman. The trophy is named in honor of Jerry Rice, the NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver who starred at Mississippi Valley State University.

Dugger and Smith are two of the PFL's top three rushers this season. Dugger leads the league with 103.0 rushing yards per game while Smith is ranked third with 101.1 yards per game. Dugger has done it as the backbone of the Davidson offense, with the freshman ranking second among league rushers with 136 carries. Smith, as Campbell's quarterback this season, has been a two-way threat as demonstrated by his PFL-best 301.3 total offensive yards per game.

Smith, a redshirt freshman from Leesburg, Virginia, has combined for 2,112 yards total offense this season, passing for 15 touchdowns. Those 15 passing touchdowns have already tied Campbell's single season record (Brian Hudson, 2013). Smith also leads the team with 711 rushing yards

Dugger, of Henrico, Virginia, burst onto the scene in the Wildcats season opener against Brevard. The rookie running back posted the best debut in program history, rushing for 196 yards on 31 carries and a touchdown. He backed up his debut with a 117-yard, 19-carry effort and a touchdown at current nationally ranked Western Carolina.

The watch list will undergo change during the season. A national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will vote on 20 finalists following the regular season.

Also this season, STATS will present the Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year), Buck Buchanan Award (FCS defensive player of the year), Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year) and Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year.