Jared Verse named finalist for Jerry Rice Award

Local Sports

CHICAGO, ILL (NEWS10) — University at Albany football defensive lineman Jared Verse has been announced as one of 16 finalists on Monday for the Stats Perform FCS Jerry Rice Award, which is presented to the national freshman player of the year in college football’s Division I subdivision.
 
Verse is the lone representative from the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), competing with members from 11 different conferences including the Big South, Big Sky, Missouri Valley, and Southern, among others.  
 
Verse clocked in this year at 6’4″ and 250 pounds. The redshirt freshman was a force on the defensive line in UAlbany’s four games this spring, recording 22 tackles (15 solo), 10 tackles for loss for 36 yards, four sacks, one quarterback hit, and one blocked field goal. He recorded a season-high two sacks against Rhode Island on Mar. 20, and followed that performance up with 10 tackles the next week against rival Stony Brook. Despite playing only four games, Verse ranked third in the CAA in sacks (first among freshman) and first in the conference in tackles for loss, averaging 2.5 per game.
 
A native of Berwick, Pa., Verse attended Central Columbia High School before coming to UAlbany, where he was a tri-sport athlete (football, basketball, track). He is the son of Eric and Jannienne Verse and has three sisters, Soleil, Aneira and Miyah, and two brothers, Aaron and Terrance. He is currently majoring in Engineering.
 
The Jerry Rice Award is named for the legendary Hall of Fame wide receiver and is celebrating its 10th anniversary season. A 40-member national media panel will select the winner from the unprecedented 2020-21 season, which has spanned the fall and spring semesters. The recipient is set to be announced on May 3.
 
For a full list of this year’s finalists, see below.
 
2020-21 JERRY RICE AWARD FINALISTS
Bronson Barron, Weber State, QB (Big Sky)
Quinton “Pig” Cage, Nicholls, Nickel (Southland)
Isaac Dowling, Mercer, LB (Southern)
Draylen Ellis, Austin Peay, QB (Ohio Valley)
Ty French, Gardner-Webb, DE (Big South)
Mark Gronowski, South Dakota State, QB (Missouri Valley)
Billy Lucas, Duquesne, RB (Northeast)
Seth Morgan, VMI, QB (Southern)
Tony Muskett, Monmouth, QB (Big South)
Ryan Nettles, Alabama State, QB (SWAC)
Tommy Schuster, North Dakota, QB (Missouri Valley)
Matthew Sluka, Holy Cross, QB (Patriot)
Devon Starling, Tennessee State, RB (Ohio Valley)
Keyon Turner, Valparaiso, CB (Pioneer)
Jared Verse, Albany, DE (CAA)
Cameron Ward, UIW, QB (Southland)

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