(STATS) - All it took was an opportunity, and redshirt freshmen Jerry Louie-McGee of Montana and Taylor Hintze of Weber State are making the most of their chances this season.
Lehigh quarterback Nick Shafnisky and Central Arkansas outside linebacker George Odum were afforded similar chances early in their careers and are veteran standouts today.
After enjoying career days on Saturday, Shafnisky, Odum, Hintze and Louie-McGee have been named the STATS FCS National Players of the Week for games played Sept. 24.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Nick Shafnisky, Lehigh, QB, Sr., 6-2, 220, Whitehall, Pennsylvania
The third-year starter has long been known for his rushing skills, but he keeps improving as a passer. He picked apart Princeton in a 42-28 victory, passing for career highs of 461 yards and four touchdowns. Shafnisky completed 29 passes (another personal best) in 36 attempts with touchdown passes of 7, 42, 14 and 56 yards. He also had a 16-yard run to set up a teammate's touchdown carry. In his Patriot League team's 2-2 start, Shafnisky has completed 72.3 percent of his passes and accounted for 14 total touchdowns.
Honorable Mention: Derrick Craine, RB, Chattanooga; Gage Gubrud, QB, Eastern Washington; Mike Holloway, RB, Charleston Southern; Eli Jenkins, QB, Jacksonville State; De'Shawn Jones, RB, Campbell; DeVante Kincade, QB, Grambling State; Hunter Taylor, QB, Stephen F. Austin
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
George Odum, Central Arkansas, OLB, R-Jr., 6-2, 190, Millington, Tennessee
Working out of the Rover position, Odum was all over the field in Central Arkansas' 28-23 triumph over Arkansas State - the Southland Conference program's second win over an FBS opponent since moving to the Division I level in 2006. UCA limited Arkansas State to 45 rushing yards on 34 attempts and Odum had 11 total tackles, three for loss which went minus-16 yards, two sacks and two forced fumbles. The second fumble ended the Sun Belt Conference opponent's next-to-last possession and helped allow UCA to hold on for the win.
Honorable Mention: Pat Afriyie, DE, Colgate; Kevin Barry, LB, Sacred Heart; Dante Blackmon, CB, Kennesaw State; Ryan Francis, LB, VMI; Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova; Folarin Orimolade, LB, Dartmouth; DeVohn Reed, NG, Prairie View A&M; Marquis Smith, LB, Savannah State
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Taylor Hintze, Weber State, PK, R-Fr., 6-1, 195, Sandy, Utah
As if kicking the longest field goal of the FCS season to end the first half wasn't enough, Hintze kicked a 35-yarder as time expired to lift Weber State to a 38-35 victory at UC Davis in the Big Sky Conference opener for both teams. The 54-yarder to end the first half was the first field goal of Hintze's career and the third-longest in program history. He then kicked a 37-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter before delivering the Wildcats' second win at the buzzer. Hintze also had six kickoffs that averaged 62.3 yards with one touchback.
Honorable Mention: Juaquin Davis, KR, Alabama A&M; Alec Finney, PK/P, Sacred Heart; Harry McCollum, P, Georgetown; Kyran Moore, RS/WR, Austin Peay; Henrique Ribeiro, PK/P, Chattanooga
FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Jerry Louie-McGee, Montana, WR, R-Fr., 5-9, 168, Coeur d'Alenee, Idaho
With 21 receptions in Montana's 42-41 loss to Cal Poly, Louie-McGee tied the Big Sky single-game record and smashed the Grizzlies' school mark by six catches. He caught 61- and 9-yard touchdowns from quarterback Brady Gustafson while totaling 155 receiving yards. His 21 receptions tied Montana State's David Pandt's conference record set in 1985. Louie-McGee also returned five kickoffs for 114 yards (with a long of 45 yards) and two punts for six yards.
Honorable Mention: Daniel David, QB, Kennesaw State; Nick Leverett, OL, North Carolina Central; Xavier Goodall, RB, Richmond; Josh Lee, PK/P, Drake; Khalil Moore, CB, Elon; Max Roberts, LB, Fordham; Dontrell Taylor, RB, Nicholls