Baker, Brown join Jerry Rice Award Watch List

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - They might appear to be different types of running backs, but Arron Baker of Alcorn State and De'Andre Brown of Abilene Christian play a little like the other as they gain similar results.

As two of the more successful freshmen running backs in the FCS this season, Baker and Brown were nominated to the Jerry Rice Award Watch List on Wednesday.

The Rice Award, now in its fourth season, and named for the legendary wide receiver who starred collegiately at Mississippi Valley State, honors the top first-year player on the FCS level of college football, whether a true freshman or a redshirt freshman.

Baker and Brown both have a nose for the end zone, that's for certain.

Baker is a 5-foot-10, 235-pound bruiser, but he accelerates past defenders with terrific open-field speed. He has the most rushing touchdowns (13) in the Southwestern Athletic Conference for an Alcorn State squad headed to the conference championship game.

Brown is a quick, elusive runner at 5-9, 190, but in becoming the breakout star of Abilene Christian's season, he mixed in the physical style of a bigger back. The Wildcats just completed a 6-6 season, and Brown ended it with nine touchdowns and nearly 1,000 yards in only 10 games.

The Jerry Rice Award winner will be announced at The Sports Network FCS Awards Presentation Dec. 15 in Philadelphia.

The Jerry Rice Award Watch List:

Arron Baker, Alcorn State, Running Back, 5-10, 235, Belle Glade, Florida

11 games: 94 carries, 616 yards, 6.6 ypc, 13 TD

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Mike Basile, Monmouth, Safety, 6-1, 185, Brick, New Jersey

10 games: 68 TT, 53 solo, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 3 INT, 5 PBU

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De'Andre Brown, Abilene Christian, Running Back, 5-9, 190, Lewisville, Texas

10 games: 137 carries, 962 yards, 7.0 ypc, 9 TD; 12 receptions, 91 yards; 123.8 all-purpose ypg

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Al Cobb, VMI, Quarterback, 6-3, 190, Pulaski, Tennessee

11 games: 242-for-395 (61.3 percent), 2,275 yards, 18 TD, 10 INT, 126.0 passing efficiency, 234.1 ypg; 49 carries, 98 yards, 2 TD

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Chandler Curtis, Mercer, Wide Receiver/Return Specialist, 5-10, 186, Calhoun, Georgia

11 games: 4 carries, 79 yards, 1 TD; 26 receptions, 550 yards, 5 TD; 13 kick returns, 27.3-yard average, 1 TD; 10 punt returns, 25.9-yard average, 3 TD; 113.0 all-purpose ypg

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Chase Edmonds, Fordham, Running Back/Kick Returner, 5-9, 185, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

11 games: 239 carries, 1,470 yards, 6.2 ypc, 21 TD, 133.6 ypg; 12 receptions, 86 yards, 1 TD; 17 kick returns, 20.6-yard KO return average; 173.3 all-purpose ypg

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Josh Gontarek, Albany, Wide Receiver/Return Specialist, 5-11, 170, Mt. Airy, Maryland

11 games: 55 receptions, 673 yards, 8 TD; 5 carries, 79 yards; 7 KO returns, 15.7-yard average; 80.1 all-purpose ypg

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Christian Guzman, Houston Baptist, Punter, 5-9, 160, Brookshire, Texas

11 games: 67 punts, 44.1-yard average, 68 long, 4 TB, 5 FC, 14 I20, 23 50+

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P.J. Hall, Sam Houston State, Defensive End, 6-1, 270, Seguin, Texas

11 games: 57 TT, 25 solo, 18 TFL, 6 sacks, 1 INT, 5 PBU, 2 QBH, 1 FF, 2 BLK

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Austin Howard, Southern, Quarterback, 6-0, 190, Edgard, Louisiana

11 games: 139-for-272 (51.1 percent), 1,924 yards, 14 TD, 7 INT, 122.4 passing efficiency,; 56 carries, 161 yards, 4 TD

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Damond Jackson, Prairie View A&M, Safety, 6-0, 195, New Orleans

10 games: 80 TT, 36 solo, 5.5 TFL, 0.5 sack, 1 INT, 5 PBU, 1 FR, 1 FF

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Mario Jenkins, Idaho State, Linebacker, 6-1, 205, Nampa, Idaho

11 games: 108 TT, 44 solo, 10 TFL, 2 sacks, 3 INT, 4 PBU, 5 QBH, 1 FF, 1 FR

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Alex Lakes, Mercer, Running Back, 5-10, 205, Newnan, Georgia

11 games: 191 carries, 1,094 yards, 5.7 ypc, 17 TD, 99.5 ypg; 3 receptions, 44 yards

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Justin Lea, Jacksonville State, Right Tackle, 6-4, 275, Henagar, Alabama

Starter at right tackle for Gamecocks team that is ranked No. 5 nationally in rushing offense and No. 8 in total offense with only 14 sacks allowed in 10 games

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Darius Leonard, South Carolina State, Linebacker, 6-3, 200, Lake View, South Carolina

10 games: 82 TT, 68 solo, 11.5 TFL, 5 sacks, 1 PBU, 2 QBH, 2 FR, 2 FF

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Jimmy Moreland, James Madison, Cornerback, 5-10, 175, Royal Palm Beach, Florida

11 games: 41 TT, 27 solo, 1.5 TFL, 3 INT, 9 PBU, 2 FR, 4 BLK

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Troy Pelletier, Lehigh, Wide Receiver, 6-3, 190, Deerfield, New Hampshire

9 games: 46 receptions, 790 yards, 7 TD; 11 carries, 65 yards, 1 TD

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Daniel Riddle, Western Carolina, Linebacker, 6-1, 225, Raleigh, North Carolina

11 games: 68 TT, 30 solo, 5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 PBU, 1 QBH, 2 FF

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Sam Schrader, Butler, Running Back, 5-10, 185, Mishawaka, Indiana

10 games: 74 carries, 604 yards, 8.2 ypg, 9 TD; 11 receptions, 157 yards, 2 TD; 81 all-purpose ypg

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James Simms, Towson, Linebacker, 6-3, 190, Laurel, Maryland

10 games: 94 TT, 38 solo, 6 TFL, 1 INT, 2 PBU, 3 QBH, 1 FF

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Nathan Stone, Duquesne, Linebacker, 5-11, 234, Scottsdale, Pennsylvania

11 games: 95 TT, 44 solo, 7 TFL, 3 sacks, 3 PBU, 2 QBH, 1 FF

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Lucas Webb, Chattanooga, Free Safety, 6-1, 190, Northport, Alabama

11 games: 47 TT, 31 solo, 1 TFL, 5 INT, 1 PBU, 1 FR

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Hunter Wells, Youngstown State, Quarterback, 6-5, 195, Navarre, Ohio

9 games: 106-for-176 (60.2 percent), 1,637 yards, 12 TD, 4 INT, 156.3 passing efficiency; 1 rushing TD

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Jake Wieneke, South Dakota State, Wide Receiver, 6-4, 205, Maple Grove, Minnesota

11 games: 60 receptions, 1,141 yards, 14 TD, 19.6 ypc; 1 carry, 52 yards

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Blaine Woodson, Delaware, Defensive Tackle, 6-2, 270, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

11 games: 48 TT, 28 solo, 11 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 1 QBH