PHILADELPHIA - Sacred Heart quarterback RJ Noel (Lowell, Mass.) was named to the Jerry Rice Award Watch List on Tuesday.
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. Noel, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound redshirt-freshman, has helped Sacred Heart to a 7-1 record this season. He has completed 114-of-208 passes for 1,494 yards and 18 touchdowns with only three interceptions. Additionally, Noel has carried the ball 90 times for 424 yards and five touchdowns. Last week, Noel threw four touchdown passes and ran for another score as Sacred Heart won at Bryant 56-28. He was named Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week on Monday for the fourth time this season.
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:
Mouf Adebo, DE, Sam Houston State
Kourtney Berry, LB, Alabama State
Trent Brittain, QB, Incarnate Word
Devin Borders, WR, Eastern Kentucky
Dillon Buechel, QB, Duquesne
Marcus Cox, RB, Appalachian State
Lawrence Forbes, P, Morgan State
Matt Johnson, QB, Charlotte
Javancy Jones, DE, Jackson State
Michael Jones, CB
Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
John Law, LB, Appalachian State
Christophe Mulumba, LB, Maine
RJ Noel, QB, Sacred Heart
Trenton Norvell, QB, Western Illinois
Donald Payne, S, Stetson
Peter Pujals, QB, Holy Cross
Martin Ruiz, RB, Youngstown State
Marquis Smith, LB, Savannah State
Gage Steele, LB, James Madison
Payton Usher, RB, Mercer