Ricedorff crowned NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year

Mesa (Ariz.) sophomore quarterback Rathen Ricedorff was honored Thursday by the NJCAA Football Committee as the 2016 Spalding® NJCAA Football Offensive Player of the Year.

Ricedorff played an integral role in one of the most successful campaigns in the history of Mesa football. The Thunderbirds posted a 9-2 record and finished ranked No. 5 in the nation. Mesa capped off the year with a 48-42 double-overtime upset of previously unbeaten Lackawanna (Pa.) in the Valley of the Sun Bowl.

Topping the leaderboard in multiple categories, Ricedorff led the NJCAA ranks with 282 completions, 3,688 yards passing and 42 touchdown passes. Despite throwing the ball 56 more times than any other quarterback, Ricedorff compiled a 65 percent completion rate – third-highest among players with 150 or more pass attempts – and fell victim to just seven interceptions on the year. The signal-caller added 207 yards and three touchdowns rushing to his yearly totals.

Earning NJCAA Offensive Player of the Week honors twice in 2016, there were a number of performances where Ricedorff showcased his talent. Arguably the best effort of his career, however, came in a 58-13 rout of Phoenix (Ariz.) where he completed 33 of 43 passes for 447 yards and a career-high six touchdowns. Ricedorff also excelled in his final game at Mesa, going 37 for 54 for 397 yards and five touchdowns in the Valley of the Sun Bowl victory.

A 2010 graduate of Show Low High School, Ricedorff won the Arizona Class 3A Championship as a senior. Following a two-year mission, he walked on at Arizona State in 2014. Redshirted that season, Ricedorff transferred to Mesa in 2015 as a freshman.

After playing sparingly in his first year with the Thunderbirds, Ricedorff took over the reins this season and quickly began to garner national attention. Receiving offers from several NCAA FBS and FCS programs, Ricedorff decided to continue his collegiate career at Boise State – signing a letter of intent last week.

About the Spalding® NJCAA Football Player of the Year Awards
Since 1990, the NJCAA Football Coaches Association has recognized the top football player in the country with the NJCAA Football Player of the Year award. The award was split into an offensive and defensive honor beginning in 2000. Spalding® partnered with the NJCAA in 2013 to become the title sponsor of both awards.

Spalding® in the Collegiate Football Market
Spalding® is currently the official football of the Arena Football League (AFL) – a distinction held since 2004. In the collegiate market, Spalding® is the official football the Southwestern Athletic Conference (NCAA Div. I), the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (NCAA Div. I), the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (NCAA Div. II) and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NCAA Div. II). Spalding® is a trademark of Russell Brands, LLC.

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