Valparaiso redshirt freshman Jake Hutson (Blanchard, Mich./Montabella) was one of five additions to the Jerry Rice Award watch list, as announced on Thursday afternoon. The Jerry Rice Award, in its second season, honors the national freshman of the year in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Hutson joins the watch list after an explosive performance last weekend against Campbell. The rookie was named co-PFL Offensive Player of the Week and The Sports Network FCS National co-Freshman of the Week after rushing for 248 yards in the win over the Camels. Hutson's 248 yards on the ground were the most by a PFL player since 2005, the second-most in a single game in Crusader history and the most by any freshman in the FCS this season. His three touchdowns all came on consecutive possessions in the second half, turning a 21-13 deficit into a 34-21 lead.
On the season, Hutson ranks third in the PFL in rushing yards (629) and tied for second in rushing touchdowns (6) and is averaging an even 5.0 yards per carry. The freshman also is fifth in the league in all-purpose yardage, totaling 105.4 yards per game.
Hutson was one of five additions to the watch list on Thursday, which now contains 20 players. The Rice Award is named for legendary wide receiver Jerry Rice, who was a two- time first-team All-American in the FCS (then Division I-AA) at Mississippi Valley State. The award will be voted on by a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries following the regular season, and presented at the FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation on Dec. 17 in Philadelphia.