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Jalen Geiger, Ramon Jefferson, Devin Leary on Comeback Player of the Year Watch List

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Senior defensive back Jalen Geiger, senior running back Ramon Jefferson and senior quarterback Devin Leary have been named to the watch list for the 2023 Comeback Player of the Year Award, it was announced today by the College Sports Communicators (formerly College Sports Information Directors of America [CoSIDA]) in association with The Associated Press (AP) and the Fiesta Bowl Organization.

Since 2018, the award has recognized college football student-athletes from all divisions of college football for overcoming injury, illness, or other circumstances.  At the conclusion of each season, in a vote by a panel of college football writers, editors, and sports information directors, three college football student-athletes are honored as Comeback Player of the Year Award winners at the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl.

Geiger, a 6-foot-1, 199-pound defensive back from Columbia, South Carolina, had a career-high three tackles in the season opener last season vs. Miami (Ohio) and was on track for another standout performance at No. 12/19 Florida when he tore the patellar tendon in his left knee.

Jefferson, a 5-10, 210-pound running back from The Bronx, New York, transferred to Kentucky in 2022 after two seasons at Sam Houston State where he amassed 1,907 yards on 299 carries in 22 games. He was primed and ready to continue his gridiron success in the Bluegrass when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee after just two carries in the season opener vs. Miami (Ohio).

Leary, 6-1, 217-pound quarterback of Sicklerville, New Jersey, transferred to Kentucky in January of 2023 after four seasons at NC State. Overall, he went 17-9 as a starter and left NC State ranked sixth in school history in career passing yards (6,807) and fourth in career completion percentage (.602). In 2022, he had the Wolfpack clicking on all cylinders to start the season with a 5-1 record and a top-15 national ranking. He completed 118-of-193 passes for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns when he suffered a tear in his right pectoralis major.

Previous winners of the Comeback Player of the Year Award include Kentucky’s Kenneth Horsey (2020) and J.J. Weaver (2021).

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