Noel, Noel: ‘Tis the Season for Rookie Quarterbacks to Shine

What a couple of weeks it’s been for RJ Noel.

After totaling 310 yards and five touchdowns in a NEC win over Central Connecticut on October 12, life has only gotten better for Sacred Heart’s rookie quarterback.

Two days later, the 6-foot-1 signal caller won the Sports Network’s National FCS Freshman of the Week award for that performance.  Then, on Thursday October 17, Noel received the honor of being the featured guest for the weekly #NECFB Google+ Hangout.

The level-headed Noel responded to the increased attention by going out and producing another five touchdowns as Sacred Heart (7-1, 2-1) picked up another NEC win – a 56-28 road triumph over Bryant on October 19.

The performance wasn’t enough to land Noel a second straight National Freshman of the Week honor, but it likely cemented the decision that was announced on October 22.

Likely impressed by the fact that the redshirt freshman has throw a NEC-best 18 touchdown passes to only three interceptions, the Sports Network added Noel to the Jerry Rice Award Watch List.  Noel joined 20 other rookies who are candidates for the honor, which is presented annually to the top first-year performance in Division I FCS.

Noel’s addition doubled the NEC’s presence on the Jerry Rice Award Watch List, which also features Duquesne rookie quarterback Dillon Buechel. While Noel has the most victories (7) and touchdown passes of all NEC quarterbacks thus far this season, Buechel leads the league in passing with 1,550 yards through six games.

On October 24, Duquesne receiver Gianni Carter, one of Buechel’s top targets, spoke about the rookie’s poise amongst other things during the latest weekly #NECFB Google+ Hangout.

Both rookie signal callers will face tough road tests in NEC play during Week 9.  Noel and the Pioneers must travel to Saint Francis, which enters off a bye.  Buechel and the Dukes make their longest road trip of the conference season to face a Bryant team looking to bounce back from a Week 8 setback to Sacred Heart.

 

#NECFB Week 8 Google+ Hangout w/ RJ Noel

 

#NECFB Week 9 Google+ Hangout w/ Gianni Carter

 

Jerry Rice Award Watch List

(from SportsNetwork.com)

Mouf Adebo, DE, Sam Houston State, 6-foot-1, 225 Seven games: 21 TT (11 solo), 6 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 PBU

Kourtney Berry, LB, Alabama State, 6-0, 210 Seven games: 62 TT (29 solo), 9 TFL, 5 sacks, 1 INT, 2 PBU, 1 FR

Trent Brittain, QB, Incarnate Word, 6-2, 195 Seven games: 111-of-208, 1,249 yards, 7 TD, 5 INT, 110.1 passing efficiency; 70 carries, 302 yards, 1 TD

Devin Borders, WR, Eastern Kentucky, 6-5, 203 Seven games: 24 receptions, 345 yards, 4 TD; 3 blocked kicks

Dillon Buechel, QB, Duquesne, 6-3, 176 Six games: 129-of-207, 1,550 yards, 9 TD, 7 INT, 132.8 passing efficiency

Marcus Cox, RB, Appalachian State, 5-10, 185 Seven games: 112 carries, 595 yards, 5 TD; 33 receptions, 498 yards, 5 TD

Lawrence Forbes, P, Morgan State, 6-4, 180 Seven games: 29 punts, 44.8-yard average, 78 long, 8 inside 20, 6 50 yards- plus

Matt Johnson, QB, Charlotte, 6-3, 230 Seven games: 157-of-246, 1,860 yards, 19 TD, 8 INT, 146.3 passing efficiency; 57 carries, 208 yards, 1 TD

Javancy Jones, DE, Jackson State, 6-2, 230 Seven games: 33 TT (16 solo), 11 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 PBU, 2 QBH, 1 FF, 1 TD

Michael Jones, CB, North Carolina Central, 5-9, 175 Seven games: 26 TT (18 solo), 2 TFL, 4 INT, 7 PBU, 1 FR

Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington, 6-2, 195 Seven games: 33 receptions, 595 yards, 9 TD

John Law, LB, Appalachian State, 6-0, 225 Seven games: 59 TT (22 solo), 1 sack, 2 INT, 1 QBH, 1 FR, 1 FF

Christophe Mulumba, LB, Maine, 6-1, 230 Seven games: 55 TT (15 solo), 1.5 sacks, 2 INT, 2 PBU, 1 FR

RJ Noel, QB Sacred Heart, 6-1, 190 Eight games: 114-of-208, 1,494 yards, 18 TD, 3 INT, 140.1 passing efficiency; 90 carries, 424 yards, 5 TD

Trenton Norvell, QB, Western Illinois, 6-5, 220 Eight games: 112-of-220, 1,200 yards, 10 TD, 9 INT, 103.5 passing efficiency; 52 carries, 23 yards, 2 TD

Donald Payne, S, Stetson, 6-0, 191 Six games: 57 TT (36 solo), 7 TFL, 1 sack, 2 INT, 7 PBU, 2 QBH, 2 FR, 2 FF, 2 TD

Peter Pujals, QB, Holy Cross, 6-2, 185 Six games: 115-of-177, 1,294 yards, 12 TD, 2 INT; 77 carries, 302 yards, 6 TD

Martin Ruiz, RB, Youngstown State, 5-11, 195 Eight games: 117 carries, 775 yards, 12 TD; 12 receptions, 125 yards, 1 TD; 119.6 all-purpose yards per game

Marquis Smith, LB, Savannah State, 6-3, 235 Eight games: 79 TT (49 solo), 8 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT

Gage Steele, LB, James Madison, 6-1, 230 Seven games: 65 TT (24 solo), 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 2 PBU, 1 FF

Payton Usher, RB, Mercer, 5-7, 162 Seven games: 103 carries, 707 yards, 2 TD; 9 receptions, 81 yards; 125.1 all- purpose yards per game

 

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