NORTHBROOK, Ill. – Gardner-Webb's Jaylan Foster was one of 17 players named to the 2016 STATS FCS Freshman Player of the Year Watch List on Tuesday afternoon.
In a season with many standout freshmen performances around the country, Foster (Duncan, S.C. / Byrnes HS) has emerged as one of the top playmakers on the defensive side of the football among his peers.
The 6-0, 190-pound corner is among the national leaders in takeaways and has increased his production since moving into the starting lineup on October 1. Foster actually broke into the lineup in the second quarter at Ohio after an injury sidelined a starter, and finished that game with 10 total tackles (seven solo), three pass break ups and an interception.
He returned an interception 32 yards to set up a field goal and a fumble 60 yards for a touchdown in his first start and was named Big South Conference Freshman of the Week twice after standout performances against Presbyterian (10/8) and No. 16 Coastal Carolina (10/15). Foster intercepted a pass in the end zone against the Chanticleers and returned a fumble 53 yards to set up Gardner-Webb's lone score in that game – a narrow 17-7 loss.
Through eight games, Foster has made 31 total tackles (23 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss and a half sack. He has also picked up three passes, broken up three more and recovered two fumbles.
A national panel of more than 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will vote on the FCS Freshman Player of the Year Award following the regular season. True and redshirt freshman are eligible for the award.
2016 STATS FCS FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST
Tyrie Adams, Western Carolina, QB, 6-2, 180, St. Petersburg, Florida
Jordan Bentley, Alabama A&M, RB, 6-0, 200, Guntersville, Alabama
Marlon Bridges, Jacksonville State, S, 6-1, 240, Lanett, Alabama
Elijah Burress, Campbell, QB, 6-2, 225, Fredericksburg, Virginia
Stephen Calvert, Liberty, QB, 6-2, 180, Plantation, Florida
Jaylan Foster, Gardner-Webb, CB, 6-0, 190, Duncan, South Carolina
A.J. Hines, Duquesne, RB, 5-11, 220, Wilson, North Carolina
Pop Lacey, New Hampshire, S, 6-0, 194, Reading, Pennsylvania
Sully Laiche, Nicholls, DE, 6-2, 255, Gramercy, Louisiana
Joe Logan, Northern Arizona, RB, 5-11, 200, Buckeye, Arizona
Jerry Louie-McGee, Montana, WR, 5-9, 168, Coeur d'Alenee, Idaho
Steven Newbold, Tennessee State, WR, 5-11, 170, Carol City, Florida
Corey Parker, William & Mary, S, 5-11, 190, Haymarket, Virginia
Max Roberts, Fordham, LB, 6-1, 222, Delaware, Ohio
Christian Rozeboom, South Dakota State, LB, 6-2, 215, Sioux Center, Iowa
Shane Simpson, Towson, RB/RS, 5-9, 185, Easton, Pennsylvania
Gee Stanley, Robert Morris, LB, 6-2, 200, Miami