NORFOLK, Va. – Morgan State punter Lawrence Forbes, North Carolina Central cornerback Michael Jones, and Savannah State linebacker Marquis Smith was three additions from the conference to join the Jerry Rice Award watch list, as announced on Tuesday afternoon by the Sports Network. The Jerry Rice Award, in its third season, honors the national freshman of the year in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Forbes, from Upper Marlboro, Md., is currently averaging 45.8 yards per kick on 24 punts and kicked one 78 yards against Liberty (Sept. 14). The rookie ranks No. 1 in the MEAC in punting and ranks No. 3 in the FCS.
Jones, a native of Baltimore, Md., currently leads the FCS with four interceptions in five games, and his 10 total passes defended tops the MEAC. He also has 21 tackles (14 solo), including a takedown for a loss, and a fumble recovery.
Smith, a 6-3, 235-pound linebacker, ranks second on his team in total tackles with 60 including 39 solo. He also averages 3.5 tackles for a loss of six yards. A native of Prince Georges County, Maryland currently ranks fifth in the MEAC with 10.0 tackles per game.
The MEAC has the most nominees to the Jerry Rice watch list with three.
The Rice Award is named for legendary wide receiver Jerry Rice, who was a two-time All-American in the FCS (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 Sports Network FCS Awards Presentation Dec. 16 in Philadelphia.
Towson running back Terrance West won the inaugural Rice Award in the 2011 season and Villanova quarterback John Robertson received the honor last season.
The Rice Award Watch List can undergo revision during the season. The winner will be announced at The Sports Network FCS Awards Presentation Dec. 16 in Philadelphia.