Football: Stockstill, Rooker named postseason award semifinalist


Ty Lee gets the hand-off from Brent Stockstill in a game against the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday, September 2 in Murfreesboro, TN (Devin P. Grimes/MTSU Sidelines)

Photo by Devin P. Grimes / MTSU Sidelines

Middle Tennessee State quarterback Brent Stockstill and kicker Cannon Rooker have been named semifinalists for postseason awards they were nominated for in the preseason.

Stockstill has been named one of 11 semifinalists for the Wuerffel trophy. The Blue Raider signal caller is the lone quarterback and Conference USA player on the list.

Brent Stockstill throws a pass during the opening practice of training camp for the Blue Raiders. (Anthony Fiorella / MTSU Sidelines)

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.

The Murfreesboro native spends some of his free 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. On the field, he holds the school record for passing touchdowns (65), passing yards per game in a single season (323.3), 300-yard passing games (14) and 400-yard passing games (2).

This season, Stockstill has completed 40 of his 67 passes for a total of 435 yards and has four touchdowns to go along with two interceptions in just two games played.

Cannon Rooker attempts a field goal during a game against Western Kentucky on Oct. 15, 2016. (Sarah Grace Taylor / MTSU Sidelines)

This preseason, Stockstill was a part of a 107 person watchlist for the award and is looking to become only the sixth quarterback to win the award.

Rooker was also named a finalist for the Lou Groza Award.

The Lou Groza Award is presented annually to the nation’s top kicker by the Orange Bowl committee. The award is named after former NFL All-Pro kicker and offensive lineman Lou Groza. This year’s award will be given at an awards banquet in Palm Beach, Florida on Dec. 4. The student-athletes are nominated by coaches, sports information directors, former award winners and current NFL kickers.

During the preseason, Rooker was one of 30 kickers to make the list and is now joined by 19 others as a semifinalist.

The Georgia native has made 11 of his 13 field goal attempts this year, while also nailing a new career-long field goal of 50 yards against Marshall. Rooker has also converted on 16 of his 17 extra point attempts this season and produced 25 touchbacks on 37 kick-offs this year.

The three finalists will be invited to a dinner banquet on Dec. 4 in Palm Beach County, Florida where the Orange Bowl committee will present the award.

Middle (3-5, 1-3) will take the field tomorrow against UTEP (0-8, 0-4) at Floyd Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the game will air on beIN sports. It can also be heard on 101.9 WGNS in Murfreesboro, as well as 102.5 The Game throughout the mid-state.

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

To contact Sports Editor Rusty Ellis (@RustyEllis13), 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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