Wells Added to Jerry Rice Award Watch List As FCS's Top Freshman

QB Hunter Wells
QB Hunter Wells

Youngstown State quarterback Hunter Wells has been added to the Jerry Rice Watch List, which signifies the top freshman in FCS Football, The Sports Network announced on Tuesday.

Wells is one of three additions to the list as the FCS season is now two-thirds complete. Wells, Sam Houston State wide receiver Yedidiah Louis and Western Carolina linebacker Daniel Riddle were all added to the list, which has 24 rookies on it to date.

Of note, Wells is the lone quarterback in the mix for the award. He currently ranks third in the FCS in passing efficiency at 174.7.

The freshman from Navarre, Ohio, has guided the 11th-ranked Penguins to two straight wins over ranked foes - Southern Illinois and South Dakota State. Last Saturday, he engineered the program's first win at SDSU since 1974 and first win in the series since 2008.

In his three starts this season, Wells is 53-of-77 for 822 yards and seven touchdowns with just one interception. Wells completed 16-of-27 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns at South Dakota State. Against Southern Illinois he was 21-of-28 for 269 yards and a score. In his first career start vs. Butler, Wells threw four touchdown passes while completing 16-of-27 passes for 297 yards.

For the year, he has played in six games, completing 69-of-104 passes for 1,051 yards, eight touchdowns and just one interception.

Wells, VMI's Al Cobb and Southern's Austin Howard are the only three FCS quarterbacks to pass for more than 1,000 yards this season. Wells has played in three fewer games then Cobb and two less than Howard.

The Penguins have had players in the running for the award annually. Christian Bryan in 2011, Andre Stubbs in 2012 and Martin Ruiz in 2013 were all members of the Jerry Rice Watch List at one time during their freshman seasons.