Robert Casey, Weber State Athletics
Josh Davis (center) runs with the ball. He set a Weber State freshman rushing record this season with 1,362 rushing yards.

Weber State football reached another historic milestone in a record-setting season. Wildcat running back Josh Davis was named the National Freshman of the Year and the recipient of the prestigious Jerry Rice Award, presented annually by STATS to the nation’s top freshman.

Davis is the first Wildcat to ever receive National Freshman of the Year honors and is just the third player in Big Sky history to earn the honor.

He will be presented the Jerry Rice Award at the STATS FCS Banquet on Friday, January 4, 2019, in Frisco, Texas, on the eve of the FCS Championship game.

The Jerry Rice Award, named after the Hall of Fame wide receiver, is voted on by a panel of more than 150 writers, broadcasters, athletic communications directors and others.

The Sandy, Utah native had one of the best seasons in Wildcat history, helping Weber State to a 10-3 record, a Big Sky Conference title, a top-three national ranking and a trip to the FCS Quarterfinals.

In 12 games played this season, Davis set a Wildcat freshman record with 1,362 rushing yards, which also ranks as the sixth-most yards in a season in school history. He had 250 carries and nine rushing touchdowns and finished the season ranked 12th in the country in rushing at 113.5 yards per game, which was also third best in the Big Sky. He had seven games with more than 100 yards rushing and two games with more than 200 yards, including a season-high 225 yards and two touchdowns in a win at Southern Utah.

In addition, Davis had 30 receptions for 193 yards and had 14 punt returns for 224 yards with one touchdown. He finished with 1,779 all-purpose yards, the most by a Wildcat freshman and the seventh most in a season in Weber State history. He ended the season ranked 10th in the country in all-purpose yards at 148.2 per game.

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Earlier this season, Davis was named the Big Sky Freshman of the Year, the first Wildcat to ever earn the honor. He also earned first-team All-Big Sky Conference honors. During the season, he was also twice honored as the STATS National Freshman of the Week.

“This is such a prestigious honor for Josh and for Weber State football,” said Wildcat head coach Jay Hill. “He worked so hard this year and took on such a load for us and was an absolute warrior for us this season. He had an incredible freshman year and has a very, very bright future.”

Davis is just the second Weber State football player ever to win a national award, joining Jamie Martin who won the Walter Payton award in 1991.