Sumner named league's top freshman
ST. LOUIS -- South Dakota State University quarterback Austin Sumner was named Wednesday as the Missouri Valley Football Conference Freshman of the Year. Balloting for the award was conducted by the league's nine head coaches, sports information directors and select media.
A 6-foot-5, 230-pound redshirt freshman from Brandon, Sumner started the final eight games for the Jackrabbits and set a Missouri Valley Football Conference freshman record with 2,382 passing yards among his many accolades.
Earlier this week, Sumner was tabbed as one of 20 finalists for the inaugural Jerry Rice Award, which will be awarded in January to the top freshman in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Other season highlights include:
* Leads all FCS freshman quarterbacks in passing average (238.2 yards per game), total passing yards (2,382), and touchdown passes (16)
* Leads all FCS freshmen in total offense (231.10 yards per game)
* Set Missouri Valley Football Conference freshman passing record with 2,382 yards
* Named MVFC Offensive Player of the Week after four-touchdown, 328-yard performance against Southern Illinois on Nov. 5
* Two-time MVFC Newcomer of the Week (at Youngstown State on Oct. 8 and at Missouri State on Oct. 29)
* Passed for at least 200 yards in each of his last seven starts
* Threw for 300-plus yards five times, including career-best 377 yards Oct. 29 at Missouri State, when he was named National Freshman of the Week by the Sports Network
* Tied school record with 37 completions in Oct. 15 game against nationally ranked Northern Iowa
* Threw four touchdown passes in a game three times
*Rushed for three touchdowns
* Led team on 16 touchdown-scoring drives of 70 or more yards
Other award winners announced Wednesday were: Indiana State running back Shakir Bell as the MVFC Offensive Player of the Year, Northern Iowa linebacker L.J. Fort as the MVFC Defensive Player of the Year and Southern Illinois running back Jewel Hampton as the MVFC Newcomer of the Year. North Dakota State's Craig Bohl was selected as the recipient of the Bruce Craddock Coach of the Year award. The entire all-conference team will be announced Nov. 28.