Fast starters headline FCS player awards
(STATS) - There is little like nailing a performance from the start.
Yeah, that's how it's done.
Some season-opening performances across the FCS stood out more than others in the first full week of the college football season, especially or players facing strong competition or playing under a national spotlight.
And for some, the national honors that followed them Monday are nothing new.
Fordham running back Chase Edmonds, Southern Illinois quarterback Mark Iannotti, South Carolina State defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, llinois wide receiver/return specialist Lance Lenoir and Case Cookus have been named the STATS National FCS Players of the Week for games Sept. 3-6.
CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK=
Chase Edmonds, Fordham, RB, Soph., 5-9, 196, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
The 2014 FCS freshman of the year picked up where he left off in leading defending Patriot League champion Fordham to a 37-35 victory at FBS member Army West Point. Edmonds scored on three touchdown runs and had 266 yards from scrimmage with 126 yards on 19 carries and career highs with 140 receiving yards and six receptions. His final touchdown came on a 10-yard run with 12:04 left, breaking a 29-all tie. He totaled 65 yards in rushes and receptions on the Rams' go-ahead drive. Earlier, he had an 87-yard reception which was the week's longest in the FCS.
Mark Iannotti, Southern Illinois, QB, R-Sr., 6-2, 220, Schaumburg, Illinois
While totaling the most offensive yards in Division I - 517 - Iannotti nearly led Southern Illinois to an FBS upset of Indiana before the Salukis fell 48-47. The performance arguably was the best ever by a Salukis quarterback and he surpassed the previous school record of 443 total yards, while tying for the second-most in Missouri Valley Football Conference history. The second-year transfer from Eastern Michigan completed 24 of 31 passes for 411 yards, four touchdowns and a 231.4 rating, and he rushed for 106 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries. He also threw for a 2-point conversion.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
One of the more dominant interior pass rushers in the FCS owned real estate in Arkansas-Pine Bluff's backfield as he helped South Carolina State to a 35-7 victory over the Golden Lions in the MEAC-SWAC Challenge. The MEAC's preseason defensive player of the year had 4 1/2 tackles for loss, 2 1/2 sacks and two quarterback hurries. He finished with seven tackles, including six solos, and earned his team's most valuable player award. A year ago, the athletic big man set the FCS single-game record with six sacks.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Lance Lenoir, Western Illinois, WR, Jr., 6-0, 200, Crete, Illinois
Lenoir's overall excellence was undeniable as Western Illinois posted a 34-5 win over Eastern Illinois, which in the preseason was the first team ranked outside the STATS FCS Top 25. Lenoir set a career-high with 280 all-purpose yards, 156 of which came on punt returns (three for 51) and kickoff returns (two for 105). His 71-yard kickoff return was the longest by a Leatherneck in four years, while his 42-yard punt return matched the longest since 2009. Both big returns led to WIU touchdowns. The All-Missouri Valley wide receiver also scored a TD on one of his 10 receptions, which went for 124 yards.
FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
NAU coach Jerome Souers lauds Cookus for his mobility and accuracy, but he had to like the redshirt freshman's composure and decision making in leading their Big Sky Conference team to a 34-28 road win over then-No. 25 Stephen F. Austin. Cookus, who won the starting job over two returning seniors, was 13 of 18 for 267 yards and two touchdowns - 57- and 47-yard passes. He also carried the ball 10 times for 41 yards, including a 1-yard scoring run in the third quarter.