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Emilio Martinez added to STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award Watch List
Nov. 9, 2017

(STATS) - Past winners of the STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award reflect the increasing talent that joins the subdivision each year, and the six players nominated to the 2017 watch list on Thursday have shown the future is now. USD freshman running back Emilio Martinez (Salinas, Calif.) joins this prestigious list on the strength of his breakout freshman campaign for the Torero football program.

Martinez is first among PFL players in kickoff returns (25.8 yards per return average; #14 FCS) and is second in all-purpose yards per game (141.8; #8 in FCS). He ranks fourth in the PFL in total rushing yards (781 yards; #19 FCS). Through nine games he has rushed 136 times for 781 yards (5.7 yards per carry) and a team-best 7 rushing touchdowns. He has added 14 receptions for 134 yards (9.6 yards per reception).

The Rice Award, named for the legendary Hall of Fame wide receiver, has been presented to the FCS freshman player of the year since 2011. Two of the first three winners, Towson running back Terrance West and Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp, are NFL players, and the 2014 winner, Fordham running back Chase Edmonds, could be headed to a pro career beginning next year.

The new nominees, listed alphabetically by last name:

Troy Anderson, Montana State, RB/LB, 6-3, 215, Dillon, Montana
Statistics: 78 carries, 444 yards, 3 TDs; 7 receptions, 45 yards, 1 TD; 6 tackles (9 games)

Marcus Cooper, Southeastern Louisiana, RB, 5-8, 160, Altair, Texas
Statistics: 52 carries, 502 yards (9.7-yard average), 2 TDs; 4 receptions, 89 yards, 1 TD (8 games)

Kierre Crossley, Central Arkansas, RB, 5-8, 168, Everman, Texas
Statistics: 115 carries, 646 yards, 3 TDs; 9 receptions, 118 yards (9 games)

Glenn Cunningham, Fordham, LB, 6-2, 220, Glastonbury, Connecticut Statistics: 75 tackles (47 solo), 7.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks; 1 INT, 9 QBH, 2 FR, 2 FF (9 games)



Anthony Knighton, Southern Illinois, DE, 6-2, 246, Fort Pierce, Florida
Statistics: 28 tackles (21 solo), 9.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 1 PBU, 5 QBH, 1 FF (9 games)

Emilio Martinez, San Diego, RB, 5-9, 190, Salinas, California
Statistics: 136 carries, 781 yards, 7 TDs; 14 receptions, 134 yards; 141.8 all-purpose ypg (9 games)

Previously nominated to the watch list were quarterbacks Grant Breneman of Colgate, Davis Cheek of Elon, Gresch Jensen of Montana, Caylin Newton of Howard, Kaelan Riley of Mercer and Daniel Smith of Campbell; running backs Zane Dudek of Yale, Wesley Dugger of Davidson, Pete Guerriero of Monmouth, Torrance Marable of Presbyterian and Isaiah Totten of North Carolina Central; linebackers Bryson Armstrong of Kennesaw State, Jabril Cox of North Dakota State, Reynard Ellis of Furman and Jaron Grayer of Maine; and cornerbacks Franklin "Mac" McCain III of North Carolina A&T and Mark Williams of Eastern Illinois.

A national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will vote on 20 finalists following the regular season.

Also this season, STATS will present the Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year), Buck Buchanan Award (FCS defensive player of the year), Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year) and Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

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