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Texas Duo Named Semifinalists for 2021 Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award

Zappe shines in opener
Zappe shines in opener(Brett Alper)
Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 7:46 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - WKU Football wide receiver Jerreth Sterns and quarterback Bailey Zappe were named Semifinalists for the 2021 Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award it was announced Thursday afternoon.

Sterns and Zappe are 2-of-16 semifinalists overall, 2-of-12 from the state of Texas and 2-of-5 from Conference USA. UTSA quarterback Frank Harris and running back Sincere McCormick also were named, as was UTEP wide receiver Jacob Cowing. There were five programs – the Hilltoppers, Roadrunners, Baylor, Ohio State and Texas – that had multiple players recognized.

The honor recognizes the top FBS offensive player who also exhibits strong characteristics that define Earl Campbell: integrity performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive, community, and tenacity. In addition, players must meet one or more of the following criteria: born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas High School and/or played at a Texas-based junior college or four-year college.

Sterns – a Waxahachie, Texas native – has 111 receptions for 1,368 yards and 11 touchdowns so far this season. His 111 catches lead the next-closest FBS receiver by 23 (USC’s Drake London has 88), 1,368 receiving yards rank second in FBS (Utah State’s Deven Thompkins has 1,441) and 11 touchdowns are tied for the FBS lead with four other receivers.

Sterns has at least seven catches in all 10 games, and double-digit receptions in six contests. He has at least 82 receiving yards in all 10 games, and seven 100-yard performances. His six double-digit reception games lead FBS, while his seven 100-yard efforts are tied for second. Earlier this week, the junior was named a Semifinalist for the 2021 Biletnikoff Award.

Zappe – a Victoria, Texas native – is a Semifinalist for both the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. So far this season, he is 342-of-483 (70.8%) for 4,170 passing yards, with 42 touchdowns compared to only seven interceptions (one every 69 attempts). He has thrown for at least three touchdowns in all 10 games and 365-plus yards in nine contests so far this season.

Zappe’s 4,170 passing yards (417 per game) lead the nation, as do his 42 touchdowns. His 70.8% completion rate ranks fifth among FBS quarterbacks with 300-plus attempts. His 169.1 passing efficiency rating ranks fourth among FBS quarterbacks with 300-plus attempts.

Zappe has nine games of 365-plus passing yards to lead FBS quarterbacks (Mississippi State’s Will Rogers is next with seven). He has five games of 420-plus passing yards to lead FBS (Virginia’s Brennan Armstrong is next with two).

Along with Sterns, Zappe, Cowing, Harris and McCormick, the other 11 semifinalists for 2021 are: Baylor quarterback Gerry Bohanon and running back Abram Smith, Texas running back Bijan Robinson and wide receiver Xavier Worthy, Ohio State wide receivers Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Garrett Wilson, Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks, SMU quarterback Tanner Mordecai, Texas A&M running back Isaiah Spiller, Houston quarterback Clayton Tune and Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn.

Five finalists will be selected from this group and announced on December 14. The winner will be announced at an award banquet in Tyler, Texas on January 12, 2022. Now in the ninth year of the award, two C-USA players – McCormick and North Texas wide receiver Jaelon Darden in 2020 – have ever been named semifinalists. No C-USA player has won the first eight editions of the honor.

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