Harris, Lewis and Lucas On Inaugural Rice Award Watch List
A national panel of communications and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will select the award winner after the regular season. The legendary Rice, who played in the FCS (then Division I-AA) at Mississippi Valley State, will present the award at the national awards banquet on Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas.
The first Watch List features:
-- Two quarterbacks: Jerry Lovelocke of Prairie View A&M and Greg McGhee of Howard;
-- Five running backs: Andre Clarke of North Carolina Central, David Johnson of Northern Iowa, Ross Scheuerman of Lafayette, Jordan Talley of Eastern Washington and Shaun Warren of Western Carolina;
-- Two wide receivers: R.J. Harris of New Hampshire and Brandon White of San Diego;
-- Three linebackers: Michael Dallas II of the Morgan State, D'Vonte Grant of North Carolina A&T and Dillon Lucas of Villanova;
-- Two cornerbacks: Eriq Lewis of Old Dominion and Zachary Senvisky of Morehead State;
-- One punter: Garrett Mohr of Jacksonville.
Harris, a wide receiver for the Wildcats, caught 24 passes for 273 yards in his first three games of 2011 to rank sixth nationally with eight receptions per game in September. The redshirt frosh has scored three TDs thus far including two against Richmond.
Lewis, a cornerback for the Monarchs, has totaled 20 tackles (17 solos) in four September games, but has created the most havoc with six passes break-ups, an interception and two forced fumbles in 2011.
Lucas, a linebacker at Villanova, gave the graduated-depleted Wildcats 36 tackles, including 21 solos, in four September games (at least eight in each game). He also recorded his first career sack against Monmouth.
The new award allows Rice to join three other football legends whose names adorn the top individual awards in the FCS: the Walter Payton (FCS outstanding player) and Eddie Robinson (FCS coach of the year) awards, which are celebrating their 25th anniversaries this season, and the Buck Buchanan Award (FCS outstanding defensive player) - each sponsored by Fathead.com.
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