Troy Andersen

Montana State's Troy Andersen tries to elude Portland State's Donovan Olumba in a game during the 2017 season.

DEAN HENDRICKSON, For 406mtsports.com

BOZEMAN — Montana State freshman Troy Andersen has been named a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award, which is presented annually STATS Inc. to the top freshman in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.

A dual running back and linebacker from Dillon, Andersen is the first Bobcat named a finalist for the award. He capped his true freshman campaign by rushing for 64 yards and two touchdowns in Montana State's 31-23 home win over Montana on Saturday.

He gained 515 yards on the season, most among Big Sky Conference freshmen, and rushed for five touchdowns. He also caught seven passes for 45 yards and a touchdown.

Andersen transitioned to linebacker at mid-season. He finished the season with nine tackles, and also started regularly on MSU's coverage and return units on kick teams.

The Jerry Rice Award, along with the Walter Payton Player of the Year Award, the Buck Buchanan Defensive Player of the Year Award, and the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, is announced Jan. 5 in Frisco, Texas.

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