(STATS) - Staying close to home to play college football has afforded Jacksonville quarterback Kade Bell, Sacred Heart wide receiver Tyler Dube and Lamar running back Kade Harrington a level of comfort while they have developed into top players.
It's been opposing defenses that have been uncomfortable.
Home may be an hour and a half or less away for Bell, Dube and Harrington, but they also generally take residence in the end zone. All three standouts were named to the STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year Watch List on Wednesday.
Kade Bell, Jacksonville, QB, R-Sr., 6-0, 195, Fleming Island, Florida=
Ranked first among active FCS quarterbacks in touchdown passes (85) and second in passing yards (8,851), the son of Jacksonville head coach Kerwin Bell has been getting the job done each of the last four seasons. The left-handed signal caller has kept the Dolphins (6-0) as one of just seven FCS teams to remain without a loss. He tied his career high with six touchdown passes in the Dolphins' most recent game and has 17 for the season. He also ranks first in the Pioneer Football League in passing yards per game (312) and will challenge his school-record 3,181 passing yards set as a junior.
Tyler Dube, Sacred Heart, WR, R-Sr., 6-0, 170, Southington, Connecticut=
This week's Northeast Conference Offensive Player of the Week is coming off a game in which he not only had 202 receiving yards and a touchdown reception, but he also threw for a score. He's been the definition of "clutch" for Sacred Heart, which is seeking its third straight conference title and FCS playoff bid. He has 36 receptions for 683 yards and six touchdowns, and his 113.8 receiving yards per game rank sixth nationally. Dube is excellent in running routes and uses his good body control to win tough balls in traffic.
Kade Harrington, Lamar, RB, Jr., 5-9, 190, Kingwood, Texas=
Harrington leads the FCS in rushing yards (1,115) and rushing yards per game (185.8) on nearly 8.5 per carry. Already a two-time national offensive player of the week, Harrington rushed for a Southland Conference-record 347 yards against Abilene Christian on Oct. 10. He is second in the nation in touchdowns (14) and his ability to catch passes out of the backfield adds to his No. 2 spot in all-purpose yards per game (211.7). Harrington led Lamar to one of the biggest wins in program history - a road upset of national power Sam Houston State on Sept. 19, when he totaled 230 rushing yards, 83 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
Other players on the STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year Watch List are quarterbacks John Gibbs Jr. of Alcorn State, Jacob Huesman of Chattanooga, Eli Jenkins of Jacksonville State, Vad Lee of James Madison, Troy Mitchell of Western Carolina, Dakota Prukop of Montana State, Tre Roberson of Illinois State, Alex Ross of Coastal Carolina, Jordan West of Eastern Washington and Dalyn Williams of Dartmouth; running backs Tarik Cohen of North Carolina A&T, Marshaun Coprich of Illinois State, Khairi Dickson of Saint Francis, Chase Edmonds of Fordham, Johnta' Hebert of Prairie View A&M, De'Angelo Henderson of Coastal Carolina, Dy'Shawn Mobley of Eastern Kentucky and Darius Victor of Towson; and wide receivers Ed Eagan of Northwestern State, Cooper Kupp of Eastern Washington, Darrin Peterson of Liberty and Jake Wieneke of South Dakota State.
The Watch List can undergo revision during the 2015 season. A national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will vote on the award after the regular season.