Browning, McDonagh among top 10 for honor



Zak Browning, Southern Utah football.

Kieran McDonagh

Union High grad Zak Browning finished fifth, and Skyview grad Kieran McDonagh eighth in the balloting for the 2012 Jerry Rice Award, given to the nation’s top freshman football player at the NCAA I FCS level.

Browning, a linebacker at Southern Utah, received eight first-place votes and 175 points. He was the highest-finishing defensive player in the balloting.

Named the Newcomer of the Year in the Big Sky Conference, Browning was the top freshman tackler in the nation this past season with 11.6 per game.

McDonagh, a quarterback at Portland State, had three first-place votes among the 145 ballots. He averaged 235.7 yards of total offense per game. He threw for 2,187 yards and 14 touchdowns.

McDonagh earned National Freshman of the Week honors on Oct. 6.

Villanova quarterback John Robertson captured the award, which is bestowed upon the nation’s top freshman each year by The Sports Network.