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Jerry Rice Award 2012: Big Sky Conference well-represented on watch list

Five Big Sky players land on the Jerry Rice Award watch list. The award is given to the top freshman at the FCS level.

William Mancebo

The nominees for the Jerry Rice Award have been released, and the Big Sky has five players on the watch list. This award is annually given out to the best freshman at the FCS level.

Here are the five Big Sky players who were nominated:

Vernon Adams, Eastern Washington, quarterback - Adams is the starting quarterback for the No. 1 ranked Eagles, and he has thrown for 724 yards and eight touchdowns. He's also rushed for 159 yards, and has played in just four games.

• Zak Browning, Southern Utah, linebacker - Browning averages 11.3 tackles per game and has forced four fumbles, broken up two passes and recorded 1.5 sacks.

• Jameer Jackson, North Dakota, wide receiver - Through seven games, Jackson has caught 33 passes for 453 yards and six touchdowns.

• Miles Killebrew, Southern Utah, strong safety - Killebrew has 46 tackles, including 27 solo plus a pair of pass breakups and a fumble recovery in his first seven games.

• Trent McKinney, Montana, quarterback - Has thrown for 1,277 yards and eight touchdowns, but he does have eight interceptions. He also can run ball and has 379 yards on the ground to go along with seven touchdowns.

The 2011 award went to Towson running back Terrance West.