PHILADELPHIA, March 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- (Sports Network) – The Sports Network announced today that the outstanding freshman player in the Football Championship Subdivision will be honored each season with the Jerry Rice Award, presented by TSN and sponsored by Fathead.com.
This honor is named for the Hall of Fame wide receiver, acknowledged as one of the greatest players in football history. Rice is joining three other football legends whose names adorn the top individual awards in the FCS (formerly Division I-AA college football): the Walter Payton (FCS outstanding player) and Eddie Robinson (FCS coach of the year) Awards, which are celebrating their 25th anniversaries in 2011, and the Buck Buchanan Award (FCS outstanding defensive player).
"I am truly honored to be a part of the FCS Awards and to be in the company of Walter Payton, Buck Buchanan and Eddie Robinson," Rice said. "It truly means the world to me and it's unbelievable to be able to have my legacy live on forever."
"I love to give back and it is amazing to be able to award a deserving freshman based on his accomplishments," Rice continued.
A national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will select the winner of the first Jerry Rice Award after the 2011 regular season to be announced at the 25th annual FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation, which will be held in Frisco, Texas, on the eve of the NCAA Division I Football Championship.
"Watching Jerry Rice play," said Mickey Charles, President and CEO, The Sports Network, "was observing poetry in motion, the same as witnessing that which anyone else would be hard-pressed to replicate. Having an award that bears his name not only creates the legacy every athlete wants when his name is mentioned after he had completed his career on the gridiron, but it now becomes the sought-after prize for every freshman football player in the FCS."
"The Jerry Rice Award will definitely be one of the highest honors bestowed upon a college freshman athlete anywhere," said Patrick McInnis, CEO, Fathead. "This speaks volumes of The Sports Network's commitment to recognizing student-athlete excellence and Fathead is proud to be the sponsor."
Rice was a two-time first-team All-American in the FCS at Mississippi Valley State and finished his career with 310 receptions for 4,851 yards and 50 touchdowns. He entered the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
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Fathead LLC is the industry leader of authentic officially licensed sports and entertainment graphic products. Fathead gives fans the opportunity to "FEEL The REAL" by bringing their favorite passion or inspiration to life. Fathead products include Fathead Customs and Fathead "Real Big", the life-size, high definition wall graphics of professional athletes, animated heroes, entertainment characters, team stadiums, helmets and logos. Fathead maintains license agreements with leading consumer brands across many industries and professional sports leagues. For more information, visit www.fathead.com.
SOURCE The Sports Network