Richmond's Jones 'picks' off FCS national honors
(STATS) - To say Albany passing in the direction of Richmond safety David Jones this past Saturday wasn't the smartest idea only tells half the story.
The Great Danes must not have known Jones graduated high school with a 4.43 weighted grade point average and was summa cum laude. His heady style of play always seems to have him around the ball.
Jones accounted for five turnovers - four interceptions - to help lead Richmond past Albany for its seventh straight victory.
"I think there's a lot of pictures on film when coaches are showing their quarterbacks what the defense should look like and what they should do with the ball," Richmond coach Danny Rocco said. "They're saying, 'You should throw the ball in there.' And he just covers so much ground that he shows up in those places and makes plays on the ball."
Jones, Northern Arizona's Case Cookus, Columbia's Cameron Nizialek and Kennesaw State's Taylor Henkle have been named the STATS National Players of the Week for games Oct. 30-31.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Case Cookus, Northern Arizona, QB, R-Fr., 6-4, 200, Thousand Oaks, California
The National Freshman of the Week to open the season rose to an even higher level in a 63-21 win over Northern Colorado, tying the NAU record with seven touchdown passes. Cookus, who didn't play in the fourth quarter, completed 25 of 31 attempts for 363 yards and rushed for 31 yards on seven carries. In his rookie season, Cookus has an FCS-leading 197.4 passer rating, throwing for 2,130 yards and 26 touchdowns against only three interceptions.
Honorable Mention: Eli Jenkins, QB, Jacksonville State; De'Mard Llorens, RB, Northwestern State; and Jake Melville, QB, Colgate
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
David Jones, Richmond, S, R-Jr., 6-1, 187, St. Petersburg, Florida
It's hard to keep up with the Joneses when the rangy safety is collecting five turnovers in the first three quarters of a game. Jones set the program record and tied the CAA Football mark with four interceptions and added a fumble recovery as the conference-leading Spiders beat Albany 38-31. In fact, Jones picked off a pass and collected his fumble recovery on Albany's first two offensive plays. He totaled 62 yards on his interception returns and was in on five tackles.
He is tied for the FCS lead with seven interceptions.
Honorable Mention: Luke Keller, LB, Morehead State; Patrick Onwuasor, S, Portland State; and Zach Zidian, DT, Duquesne
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Cameron Nizialek, Columbia, PK/P, Jr., 6-2, 206, Chantilly, Virginia
Nizialek had already kicked a career-best 40-yard field goal to give Columbia the lead on Yale when he lined up for another attempt early in the fourth quarter. Only this time, the Lions ran a fake and Nizialek took an option pitch from holder Trevor McDonagh and scored on a 13-yard touchdown. When Nizialek added his second extra point of the game, the Lions had a 17-7 lead, and it stood the rest of the way to end an 18-game Ivy League losing streak. Nizialek also had four punts for an average of 35.5 yards, including a long of 41.
Honorable Mention: Kody Edwards, RS/WR, Incarnate Word; Jon Croft Hollingsworth, PK/P, Furman; and Keith Wrzuszczak, P, Eastern Kentucky
FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Taylor Henkle, Kennesaw State, S, R-Fr., 5-11, 184, Marietta, Georgia
After playing on high school teams that won 44 games over his four seasons, Henkle wasn't going to be satisfied with anything but victories at Kennesaw State, even though the Owls are a first-year start-up program. He helped the Owls (6-2) clinch a winning season with a 23-13 victory over Monmouth in the Big South Conference, collecting nine solo tackles, an interception and two pass breakups. The second interception of his rookie season came on the first play after Monmouth recovered an onside kick late in the game.
Honorable Mention: Kyle Buss, WR, Robert Morris; Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks, RB, Albany; and John Santiago, RB, North Dakota