The Pioneer Football League announced its 2012 major award winners Monday and Valparaiso running back Jake Hutson (Blanchard, Mich./Montabella) was named as the PFL Freshman Offensive Player of the Year. Honors were determined following a vote from the league’s coaches. Hutson is the first Crusader player to earn one of the league’s major awards.
Hutson scored a team-high eight touchdowns to go along with 753 rushing yards, the highest single-season total by a Crusader since 2008.
The rookie scampered for a career-best 248 yards against Campbell University and was named PFL Co-Offensive Player of the Week for the performance. He was also honored nationally, earning The Sports Network FCS National Co-Freshman of the Week honors, after racking up the highest single game rushing performance by a PFL player since 2005.
The freshman was particularly impressive in league action, where he averaged 83.8 yards per game and scored seven of his eight touchdowns. Hutson had two multi-touchdown games and got in the end zone in each of the last three games of the season.
The rookie led PFL freshmen in several statistical categories, including rushing yards (68.5), offensive touchdowns (8) and all-purpose yards (110.5). Among FCS freshmen, Hutson ranked fourth in the nation in rushing yards.
Hutson was also awarded PFL Freshman of the Year by College Sports Madness, where he was also a Second Team All-League selection. In November, Hutson was added to the Jerry Rice Award watch list, which honors the national freshman of the year in the FCS.