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UC Davis Linebacker Nick Eaton Named To Jerry Rice Award Watchlist

DAVIS, Calif. — UC Davis linebacker Nick Eaton has been selected among 24 freshmen around the country to the watch list for the 2019 FCS Jerry Rice Award, which honors the subdivision’s top freshman of the year.

Originally from nearby Rocklin, California, and Whitney High School, Eaton has started eight of nine games at Sam linebacker for the Aggies this season. He ranks fourth on the squad with 46 total tackles (28 solos, 18 assists) with team highs of 9.5 tackles for losses, 4.5 sacks and five pass breakups.

Eaton also has recorded three forced fumbles, including one that earned him a trio of awards following UC Davis’ 48-24 win over Cal Poly: he intercepted a pitch from Mustang quarterback Jalen Hamler, then ran 78 yards the opposite way for his first collegiate touchdown. In the days that followed that game, Eaton earned College Sports Madness Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Week, Big Sky ROOT SPORTS Defensive Player of the Week, and STATS FCS National Freshman of the Week.

A panel of FCS sports information directors, broadcasters and media members will vote on the Jerry Rice Award as well as the Walter Payton Award (offensive player of the year), Buck Buchanan Award (defensive player of the year), Eddie Robinson Award (coach of the year) and Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors at the end of the regular season. The honors are presented at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet in Frisco, Texas, during the weekend of the national championship.

UC Davis returns to action this Saturday for a Big Sky Conference road game at Portland State. The Aggies hold a 4-5 overall record and are receiving votes in the weekly STATS FCS poll.

2019 FCS JERRY RICE AWARD WATCH LIST

John Bachus III, QB, UT Martin

Omar Brown, CB, Northern Iowa

Tyrese Chambers, WR, Sacred Heart

Ian Corwin, QB, Drake

Jacob Dobbs, LB, Holy Cross

Nick Eaton, DE, UC Davis

Metrius Fleming, WR/RS, Tennessee Tech

Tra Fluellen, S, Houston Baptist

Ailym Ford, RB, Chattanooga

Xavier Gibson, WR/KR, Stephen F. Austin

Devron Harper, WR/RS, Gardner-Webb

Tyler Hudson, WR, Central Arkansas

Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim, WR, Alabama A&M

Hendrix Johnson, WR, Northern Arizona

Kevin Johnson, RB/KR, Norfolk State

Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Jalen Leary, RB, Stetson

Will McElvain, QB, Northern Iowa

Keegan Shoemaker, QB, Lafayette

Jake Stebbins, LB, Cornell

Jeff Undercuffler, QB, UAlbany

Tristan Wheeler, LB, Richmond

Javon Williams Jr., RB, Southern Illinois

Hajj-Malik Williams, QB, Campbell