Cameron Ward presented with Jerry Rice award

The Columbia product had a breakout freshman season

The Jerry Rice award was given to the top freshman in FCS

Every year the Jerry Rice award is presented to the most outstanding freshman in FCS football. This year, that honor was earned by a Columbia High School product, Cameron Ward.

Ward, starting quarterback at University of Incarnate Word, had a breakout season and was thrilled to be honored.

“It was a good feeling,” said Ward. “It just shows that I put in the work to achieve what I achieved, and it shows that you can do anything.”

Ward passed for 2, 260 yards, 24 touchdowns and only four interceptions. What he says may have helped him? The Southland’s delayed spring season, due of course to COVID.

“It helped me grow as a player and person,” said Ward, “and knowing our offense inside and out.”

Ward was not heavily recruited coming out of Columbia high school. That, he says, put a chip on his shoulder to be the best he could be.

“All the coaches who told me no, all the schools who passed on me, it just made me work harder when I got on campus.”

He accomplished so much as a freshman, but Ward is excited for his potential growth.

“I want to get to recognizing defenses more, and coverages. Also, a goal of mine is to win the Walter Payton Player of the Year.”