ELON, N.C. – Elon University quarterback Davis Cheek garnered a fifth place finish in the voting for the Jerry Rice Award, which is presented to the top freshman player at the FCS level, as announced by STATS FCS on Tuesday, December 12. The Jerry Rice Award voting reflected the regular season and was conducted before the start of the FCS playoffs.
Cheek is the first Elon player to finish in the top 25 of the Rice voting. The award has been presented every year since 2011. Cheek earned 16 first place votes and a total of 193 points.
Cheek was named the CAA Football Offensive Rookie of the Year, becoming the first Phoenix player to win a freshman or rookie of the year award since quarterback Scott Riddle did so in the Southern Conference in 2007. The Matthews, N.C., native currently ranks second in CAA Football and is 35th nationally in with 12.79 yards per completion. He also ranks 43rd nationally with a 132.4 passer efficiency mark and 33rd with 2,431 passing yards. Among FCS freshmen, Cheek rates third in passing yards, fourth in passing efficiency, fourth in passing touchdowns (15), fourth in passing yards per game (202.6), fourth in yards per completion and tied for sixth in points responsible for (102).
Twice this season Cheek was selected as the CAA Football Rookie of the Week and he was named the STATS FCS National Freshman of the Week on Oct. 23. He also earned one conference offensive player of the week award.
Cheek, who started all 12 games for the Phoenix, threw for 300 or more yards three times this year, including a high of 357 yards in a league victory at #13 Villanova. He has had three games in which he tossed three touchdown passes and led the maroon and gold to four fourth-quarter comebacks. On the year, he has completed 190 of his 323 passes. Cheek also run for two touchdowns.
Cheek and the Phoenix concluded the 2017 season with an 8-4 overall record, a six-game improvement from the previous season, and earned a third-place finish in CAA Football with a 6-2 league mark as Elon earned its second-ever bid to the FCS Playoffs.