Redshirt freshman linebacker Tyler King in the game against Delaware on Oct. 16. King is on the watch list for the Jerry Rice Award. KAT PROCACCI/THE STATESMAN

Redshirt freshman linebacker Tyler King has only played 12 collegiate games for the Stony Brook football team, but he has already made a name for himself as one of the most feared defenders in his conference.

On Wednesday, Oct. 27, King was listed as one of 22 players named to the watch list for the Jerry Rice Award, given to the top freshman at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. Rice played wide receiver at Mississippi Valley State, where he recorded 4,693 career receiving yards and 50 touchdowns, the FCS record at the time.

As a freshman, King currently leads the entire Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) with 69 tackles and 39 solo tackles. He also has nine tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble. Among all FCS players, King’s 69 tackles are the 15th-most. He previously won CAA Rookie of the Week on Sept. 20 after leading Stony Brook with a career-high 12 tackles against Oregon.

Numerous Rice Award winners are currently playing in the National Football League (NFL), including San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (North Dakota State, 2019), Arizona Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds (Fordham, 2014) and Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (Eastern Washington, 2013).  

No Stony Brook player has ever won the award. In fact, Towson running back Terrance West, the award’s inaugural winner in 2011, is the only player to have won it from the CAA. West became a third-round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in the 2014 NFL Draft.

King and New Hampshire defensive lineman Josiah Silver are the only CAA players on this year’s watch list.

Despite playing in the 2020 season, King is eligible for this year’s award as he qualified for a redshirt year, having only played in four games, where he recorded 19 tackles.


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