Southern Utah University middle linebacker Zak Browning was named to this year's Jerry Rice Award watch list, the Sports Network announced Wednesday.
The award honors the top freshman player in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.
"I'm really happy for both Zak and Miles," SUU coach Ed Lamb told suutbirds.com of Browning and teammate Miles Killebrew, another nominee. "Both young men have improved every week. They represent the future of SUU football."
Browning, a Union High School graduate, was leading the Thunderbird defense going into last weekend's games with 45 tackles, including 26 solo stops.
He also had 11/2 tackles for loss, including a sack; forced three fumbles and had two pass breakups in SUU's first four games.
Browning had a team-high 15 tackles in a Sept. 29 home Big Sky Conference loss to Montana State, a tie for the second-highest total by a freshman in SUU's NCAA Division I history.
He was among the team's top five tacklers in its first four games. He did not play against New Mexico Highlands because of a minor injury.
Black named EWU athlete of month
Women's soccer forward Cassie Black was named Eastern Washington University Athletic Department's female Scholar-Athlete of the Month for October.
This award recognizes the athletic and academic success of student-athletes, based primarily on performances turned in during the previous month.
Black, a 2011 graduate of Battle Ground High School, boasts a 3.70 grade point average in pre-medicine.
Black was twice in September honored as the Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week.
With eight goals and two assists, Black ranks second in the Big Sky in points with 18 on the season.
Black has contributed four game-winning goals this year, which puts her one behind the Big Sky leader, Rachel Strawn from Idaho State, while ranking 18th nationally.
Black already ranks third all-time at Eastern for career goals (14) and is fourth in points in the EWU record book.
PacWest honors Wingate-Pearse
Notre Dame de Namur sophomore defender Mikhail Wingate-Pearse was named Pacific West Conference Men's Soccer Player of the Week for games of Sept. 3-9. The conference announced the selection on Oct. 2.
The Skyview High Schol graduate scored back-to-back game-winners in dramatic fashion. His goal 2:48 into overtime gave NDNU a 3-2 victory over San Francisco State on Sept. 3. On Sept. 8, he broke a scoreless tie against Westmont with 1:25 left in regulation, giving the Argos a 1-0 win.
Wingate-Pearse has started all 11 games for the Argonauts (9-2-1, 6-1-1 PacWest), with four goals scored.
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