ALBANY — UAlbany redshirt freshman defensive end Jared Verse was named Monday as one of 16 finalists for the STATS Perform FCS Jerry Rice Award, given annually to the FCS national freshman player of the year.
After a redshirt year in 2019, Verse turned in a dominant campaign in UAlbany’s spring season, which the team opted out of with two games remaining due to mounting injuries.
In four games, the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Verse recorded 22 tackles (15 solo), four sacks, 10 tackles for loss and a blocked field goal. Verse had a season-high two sacks in UAlbany’s March 20 game against Rhode Island, and followed that up the next week with a career-high 10 tackles against Stony Brook.
A Berwick, Pennsylvania native, Verse finished third in the CAA — and first among the league’s freshmen — in sacks, while his 2.5 tackles for loss per game led the league.
Verse was the only CAA freshman named as a finalist for this year’s award. The 16 finalists represent teams from 11 different conferences.
UAlbany quarterback Jeff Undercuffler was the runner-up for the Jerry Rice Award in 2019.