RICHMOND, Va. — UAlbany redshirt freshman quarterback Jeff Undercuffler and Richmond freshman linebacker Tristan Wheeler are among 24 players named to the watch list for the STATS Jerry Rice Award, given annually to the top freshman in FCS football.
Undercuffler has completed 180 of 312 passes for 2,408 yards and 28 touchdowns this season. He has thrown for over 300 yards four times and has at least two passing touchdowns in all nine games. His 28 TD passes are a season record for the Great Danes amd the quarterback ranks second in FCS in passing touchdowns. Undercuffler is third in the CAA in passing yards (267.6 ypg) and pass efficiency (147.7).
Wheeler is second on the Spiders and second in the country among all freshmen with 76 total tackles, averaging 8.4 tackles per game. Wheeler, who did not start until the fourth game of the year, ranks seventh overall in the CAA in total tackles and is the top freshman tackler in the league.
Three of the Rice Award’s first four recipients went on to play in the NFL: Terrence West (Towson), Cooper Kupp (Eastern Washington) and Chase Edmonds (Fordham).
A national panel of more than 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will vote on the award following the regular season.