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Jackson State QB Shedeur Sanders Becomes The First HBCU Player To Ever Receive The Jerry Rice Award

Shedeur Sanders, a high-profile Jackson State athlete, has made history by winning the coveted Jerry Rice Award. Since 2011, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has bestowed the honor on the top freshman athlete among the D-1 Football Championship Division.

While the award’s namesake, iconic former wide receiver Jerry Rice, attended Mississippi Valley State University, an HBCU athlete has never won the title. Nevertheless, that changed earlier this week when the NCAA announced Sanders as the 2021 recipient of the Jerry Rice Award.

A 50-member sports media panel made the decision, with Sanders chosen over nearly two dozen other high-ranking athletes.

This honor comes on the heels of a great football season for Sanders and JSU. Throughout his freshman season, he scored a total of 29 touchdowns and completed 68% of his passes–or 256 out of 377. Additionally, last month, Sanders was named the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s (SWAC’s) Freshman of the Year. He helped the JSU Tigers win the 2021 SWAC Championship shortly after.

While the Jerry Rice Award is a major honor, Sanders is likely currently focusing on practicing rather than celebrating. This Saturday (Dec. 18), the 18-year-old star will get the chance to display his on-field skills again at the Celebration Bowl, where JSU and South Carolina State will go head-to-head at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Although Sanders hasn’t publicly acknowledged his accomplishment online, he recently revealed an upcoming collaboration with Tom Brady’s apparel brand: BRADY. Talk about getting your flowers and a bag.

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