Arkansas State’s Corey Rucker named Sun Belt Conference Offensive POTW after record-setting performance


Arkansas State wide receiver Corey Rucker was named the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Monday after breaking the NCAA FBS record for single-game receiving yards by a freshman during the Red Wolves’ 48-15 victory over ULM.

Making his first career start at A-State, the true freshman recorded a career-high nine receptions for a school-record 310 yards and four touchdowns to help the Red Wolves pile up 511 passing yards that were the third most in program history.

The previous FBS record for receiving yards by a freshman in a game was 283 yards, recorded by East Carolina’s C.J. Johnson against Cincinnati on Nov. 2, 2019.  Rucker’s 310 yards were also the second most in Sun Belt Conference history and the most by an FBS player since 2016.

Rucker’s four touchdown catches tied the school record and matched the second most ever by a Sun Belt Conference player.  Each of his four scoring receptions covered at least 30 yards and two went for at least 55.

The Yazoo City, Miss., native also had a career-long reception of 69 yards, and he averaged 34.4 yards per catch for the fifth-best average in Sun Belt history.  Rucker was on the receiving end of three of A-State’s first five touchdowns to help the Red Wolves build a 35-7 lead early in the third quarter.

Including Rucker, A-State has now had five different players earn one of the Sun Belt Conference’s weekly awards six times.  Wide receiver Jonathan Adams Jr. was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 14 and Oct. 19, while linebacker Justin Rice was the Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 12.  Kicker Blake Grupe and punter Ryan Hansen were tabbed a Special Teams Player of the Week on Sept. 7 and Oct. 12, respectively.

Rucker has also been named the College Sports Madness National Offensive Player of the Week, as well as a National Performer of the Week by College Football Performance Awards (CFPA).  Following his performance Saturday, he received a “helmet sticker” on ESPN’s College Football Final show.

Arkansas State closes out the regular season Saturday, Dec. 12, with a home game against the University of the Incarnate Word at 2 p.m.