CHICAGO — It did not take too long for SFA football freshman wide receiver Xavier Gipson to make a name for himself as one of the team's best players this season and today the FCS is in the know about that fact, too.
In a release issued Tuesday afternoon by STATS LLC, Gipson learned he has been selected as one of 24 freshmen across the FCS who appeared on the Jerry Rice Award Watch List. Awarded on an annual basis since the 2011 season, the Jerry Rice Award honors the best freshman FCS competitor in the nation. Previous winners of the award include the Arizona Cardinals' Chase Edmonds (2014) and the Los Angeles Rams' Cooper Kupp (2013).
Through his debut collegiate campaign, the Dallas product has distinguished himself as not just one of the best freshmen in the Southland Conference but among all FCS competitors as well. Over the course of his first nine games as collegian, Gipson tops SFA's charts in receiving yards (619), receiving yards per game (68.8), receptions (37) and receiving touchdowns (four).
Not only has Gipson served as a potent weapon for the 'Jacks on offense, his special teams prowess is eye-catching as well. A kickoff return specialist, too, Gipson has accumulated a total of 345 return yards which are the fifth-most in the Southland and the 52nd-highest total on the FCS scene this season. The freshman's all-purpose yardage average of 109.7 per game ranks as the fifth-best in the Southland and the 56th-best among FCS student-athletes.
Gipson and the rest of the 'Jacks are performing prep work for their final home contest of the 2019 campaign. Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. from Homer Bryce Stadium, SFA will host reigning Southland Conference champion Incarnate Word on what will serve as Senior Day for the 'Jacks' 18-man senior class. The game, which is presented by BancorpSouth, will be broadcast nationwide on ESPN3 and the ESPN app.