Browning Fifth, Cowser 10th In Rice Balloting

CEDAR CITY, Utah, Dec. 17 - Zak Browning finished fifth and James Cowser 10th in the balloting for the 2012 Jerry Rice Award, it was announced by The Sports Network today. Villanova quarterback John Robertson captured the award, which is bestowed upon the nation's top freshman each year by TSN.

Browning received eight first-place votes and 175 points to finish fifth while Cowser had one first-place vote and 52 points to finish 10th in the 20-player field. Robertson garnered 56 first place votes and finished with 412 points to finish 51 points ahead of Northern Iowa quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgan, who finished second. Browning was the highest-finishing defensive player in the balloting.

Browning, a linebacker from Camas, Wash. (Union HS) who was named the Newcomer of the Year in the Big Sky Conference, was the top freshman tackler in the nation this past season with 11.6 per game. He led the Thunderbirds and the Big Sky Conference with 116 total tackles. His per-game average ranked second in the Big Sky and seventh in the nation, overall. He had seven games with 10 or more tackles, including an 18-tackle performance at Montana and 15-tackle tallies against Montana State and Eastern Washington. The 18 tackles are the second-most in a game by an SUU freshman during its NCAA era.

Cowser, a defensive end from (Davis HS) led the nation's freshmen with 0.68 sacks per game this season, and he was second among freshmen with 1.23 tackles for loss per game. He paced the Thunderbirds and was fifth in the Big Sky in sacks with 7.5 and he was tied for third in the BSC (and second on the team) in tackles for loss with 13.5, numbers which ranked 25th and 27th in the nation. His 7.5 total sacks this year are the most ever by a freshman in SUU history. Cowser, an honorable mention all-Big Sky honoree, finished the season with 61 total tackles, which was fifth on the squad and tops among defensive linemen.

Southern Utah, which was the only school in the country to have two finalists, has had three Rice Award finalists in the past two seasons, as wide receiver Brady Measom was among the finalists last year.

The Big Sky Conference had five finalists, including Browning and Cowser, Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams (sixth, 173 points), Portland State quarterback Kieran McDonagh (eighth, 89 points) and North Dakota wide receiver Jameer Jackson (16th place, 21 points).

2012 Jerry Rice Award Voting

Name

School

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

Total

1. John Robertson

Villanova

56

17

10

12

10

412

2. Sawyer Kollmorgen

UNI

25

34

18

19

8

361

3. Sean Price

Appalachian St

18

25

21

20

19

312

4. Jacob Huesman

Chattanooga

10

16

10

17

15

193

5. Zak Browning

Southern Utah

8

8

22

13

11

175

6. Vernon Adams

Eastern Wash

12

12

12

8

13

173

7. T.J. Lally

South Dakota St

1

5

15

9

8

96

8. Kieran McDonagh

Portland St

3

7

6

10

8

89

9. Terrick Colston

Delaware St

5

2

3

5

4

56

10. James Cowser

Southern Utah

1

3

6

4

9

52

11. Elandon Roberts

Morgan St

1

4

5

2

6

46

12. Jeff Williams

Delaware

0

3

4

5

12

46

13. Josh Woodrum

Liberty

0

4

3

7

0

39

14. Scott Lathrop

SE Missouri St

2

2

2

0

3

27

15. J.J. Raffelson

Western Ill

1

1

1

5

4

26

16. Jameer Jackson

North Dakota

1

1

3

1

1

21

17. Jake Hutson

Valparaiso

0

1

1

1

10

19

18. Reese Hannon

Furman

1

0

1

1

2

12

19. Luke Hagy

Cornell

0

0

1

3

1

10

20. Luke Rhodes

William & Mary

0

0

1

3

1

10