Gronowski selected as Rice Award finalist


CHICAGO, Ill. (SDSU) – South Dakota State University quarterback Mark Gronowski was named Monday as one of 16 finalists for the Stats Perform FCS Jerry Rice Award, which is presented to the national freshman player of the year in the Football Championship Subdivision.

A native of Naperville, Illinois, Gronowski has started all six games for the Missouri Valley Football Conference champion Jackrabbits. He has averaged 239 yards of total offense per game, completing 76-of-133 passes (57.1 percent) for 1,051 yards and rushing for 383 yards.

Gronowski has accounted for 14 touchdowns, throwing for eight scores and running for six more. He topped the 100-yard mark for rushing three times during the regular season.

A 40-member national media panel will selected the winner of the Jerry Rice Award, and the recipient will be announced on May 3.

Gronowski is the fifth Jackrabbit player to be selected as a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award since its inception in 2011, joining the following:

  • Austin Sumner, quarterback, 2011 (3rd);
  • T.J. Lally, linebacker, 2012 (7th);
  • Jake Wieneke, wide receiver, 2014 (2nd);
  • Christian Rozeboom, linebacker, 2016 (2nd).

South Dakota State was awarded the top seed in the FCS playoffs, which begin Saturday at campus sites. The Jackrabbits, 5-1 overall, will host Holy Cross in first-round action, with kickoff set for 2 p.m. Central Time at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.

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