BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota State University linebacker T.J. Lally was among 16 players named Wednesday to the official watch list for the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision.
A redshirt freshman from Chicago, Lally ranks second on the nationally ranked Jackrabbits for tackles with 41 and shares the team lead with four sacks. He has twice been named Missouri Valley Football Conference Newcomer of the Week and also was named MVFC Defensive Player of the Week following the Jackrabbits' conference-opening win at Indiana State on Sept. 22. Lally also has intercepted a pass, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble in 2012.
The Rice Award, named for the legendary wide receiver, who played in the FCS (then Division I-AA) at Mississippi Valley State, will be voted on by a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries following the regular season. The list will grow to 20 finalists by then, with the award to be presented Dec. 17 in Philadelphia.
Lally is the second Jackrabbit football player in as many days to be considered for a national award by the Sports Network. Sophomore running back Zach Zenner, who leads the nation in rushing, was officially named to the Walter Payton Award Watch List for the top FCS player, on Tuesday.
The Jackrabbits, 4-1 overall and 2-0 in league play, return to action Oct. 13 by hosting Western Illinois.