Blue Raiders’ dynamic duo of Stockstill and James earn more pre-season honors


Photo by Tyler Lamb / Sidelines Archives

Middle Tennessee redshirt junior quarterback Brent Stockstill and redshirt junior receiver Richie James have added to their pre-season honors Tuesday morning. Stockstill has again been recognized for his community service as he has been named to the Danny Wuerffel trophy watch-list, while James was named to the Biletnikoff Award watch-list.

This is Stockstill’s third list he’s been named to, along with his Allstate AFCA Good Works team nomination and Maxwell Award nomination.

James has also been added to the Biletnikoff Award watch-list, also his third pre-season honor after being named as both a pre-season All-CUSA team selection and Paul Hornung Award-watch list selection.

The Wuerffel trophy has been has been widely known as one of the top awards for players who exemplify great service in the community. Members of the panel for the trophy are comprised of former Wuerffel trophy winners along with college football media members. The trophy is named after former Heisman trophy winner and Florida Gator quarterback Danny Wuerffel.

Stockstill joins a record 107 other players from the Football Bowl Subdivision on the watch list. Stockstill comes into the year holding school records in touchdown passes (61), passing yards per game (303.3 ypg), 300 yard passing games (14) and 400 yard passing games (2). He also comes into the season with a 13-10 record as a starter, good for a .565 winning percentage.

A native of Murfreesboro, Stockstill has always been able to find time to be active in the community. He spends time volunteering for the Special Olympics, Special Kids, reading to local elementary school students and helping out at Camp Ability among a host of other activities.

Stockstill is looking to become the 13th all-time winner of the Wuerffel trophy. To go even further, he would also be only the sixth quarterback to win the trophy, joining Paul Smith (Tulsa), Tim Hiller (Western Michigan), Tim Tebow(Florida), Matt Barkley (USC) and last year’s winner Trevor Knight (Texas A&M).

For Richie James, this is his second straight season being named to the Biletnikoff Award watch-list.

The Biletnikoff Award is given annually to college football’s best pass catcher, regardless of position. To receive the award, you must be selected by the Biletnikoff Award National Selection Committee, which is made up of college football journalists, commentators and former receivers.

The ten finalists for the award will be announced on November 13, and the award will be presented at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on December 7. The award will be presented to the winner by former Heisman trophy winner and Biletnikoff Award voter Desmond Howard.

James joins 44 other players on the Biletnikoff watch list and joins Johnathan Duhart of Old Dominion as one of only two players from C-USA to be selected to the list.

James comes into 2017 as perhaps Middle Tennessee’s top pass catcher, posting two of the best seasons in school history in his first two campaigns with the Blue Raiders.

Last season, James caught 105 passes for 1,625 yards and 12 touchdowns. In his career, the 2016 Hawaii Bowl MVP ranks second in school history in receptions (213) and receiving yards (2,971).  The Sarasota, Florida native’s 20 career touchdown receptions are good for fourth all-time in school history.

With only two season’s a piece under their belts, James and Stockstill give Blue Raider fans plenty to be excited about coming into 2017. The dynamic duo has earned the respect of college football’s most elite this pre-season.

Follow MTSU sports reporter Anthony Fiorella on Twitter at @A_Fiorella74 for more coverage.

To contact Sports Editor Rusty Ellis, email sports@mtsusidelines.com.

For more sports stories, follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter and Periscope at @Sidelines_Sport.

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