(STATS) - Jerry Rice must be smiling.
There are so many outstanding freshman candidates for the season-ending STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award this season, and this past weekend's action had rookies excelling in every which way. Enough so that they are sprinkled throughout the weekly STATS FCS awards.
That's because there could only be one National Freshman of the Week, and that was Sam Houston State wide receiver Nathan Stewart following his record-setting performance in the Southland Conference.
Stewart, The Citadel's Tyler Renew, UT Martin's Kahlid Hagens and Wofford's David Marvin were named Monday as the STATS FCS National Players of the Week for games played Nov. 3-5.
NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Tyler Renew, The Citadel, FB, Sr., 5-11, 217, Columbia, South Carolina
In The Citadel's triple-option offense, Renew plays the position known as B-Back, but he was strictly "A" material in a Top 25 win against Samford. Renew carried the ball 45 times for 285 yards and three touchdowns - all career highs - as the unbeaten Bulldogs prevailed 37-34 in overtime, clinching at least a share of their second straight Southern Conference title and an FCS playoff bid. While coming within one yard of The Citadel's single-game rushing record, he scored on runs of 55, 58 and 4 yards.
Honorable Mention: Ronald Butler, QB, Tennessee State; JaVaughn Craig, QB, Austin Peay; Chad Chalich, QB, Montana; Austin Gahafer, QB, Morehead State; Jestin Kelly, RB, Grambling State; Jake Kolbe, QB, Illinois State; Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington; Tyrell Maxwell, QB, Gardner-Webb; John Santiago, RB, North Dakota; Bryan Schor, QB, James Madison.
NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Kahlid Hagens, UT Martin, S, R-Jr., 6-3, 200, Maplewood, Missouri
Hagens helped keep UT Martin in contention for the Ohio Valley Conference title and a playoff berth. He totaled a game-high nine tackles (three solo), recovered a fumble and scored off an interception to help the Skyhawks beat Eastern Illinois 33-17 on the road. Hagens jumped on a fumble on his team's 2-yard line to perverse a lead going into halftime. Late in the game, he sealed the win by intercepting a pass and returning it 52 yards for a pick-six.
Honorable Mention: Mike Basile, S, Monmouth; Mitch Dalley, S, Southern Utah; P.J. Hall, DE, Sam Houston State; Tymir Hinton, S, Central Connecticut State; Reggie Hunter, LB, North Carolina Central; Jarius Moore, LB, Texas Southern; Troy Reeder, LB, Delaware; Pierce Ripanti, LB, Lehigh; Karter Schult, DE, Northern Iowa.
NATIONAL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
David Marvin, Wofford, PK/P, R-Fr., 6-2, 210, Charlotte, North Carolina
The Wofford-Furman series dates to 1889 and nobody has ever gotten a kick out of it quite like Marvin did while the Terriers spoiled Furman's Homecoming 34-27. Marvin tied the Southern Conference record for longest field goal with his second 57-yarder of the season, and he kicked a 54-yarder earlier in the game. He also kicked four extra points, had four punts that averaged 43.8 yards with a long of 48 and two going inside Furman's 20 and averaged 59 yards on six kickoffs with two touchbacks.
Honorable Mention: Earnest Edwards, WR/KR, Maine; Michael Dereus, WR/KR, Georgetown; Sam Drysdale, PK, Northern Iowa; Ed Groth, PK, Central Connecticut State; Jalen Rima, WR/RS, Northern Iowa; Griffin Roehler, PK, Northern Arizona; Ben Rosenblatt, PK, Brown; Matt Ward, PK, Morehead State.
NATIONAL FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Nathan Stewart, Sam Houston State, WR, Fr., 6-1, 169, Dallas
Stewart leads the No. 2 passing offense in the FCS in receiving yards, touchdown receptions and yards per catch after posting a monster game in the top-ranked Bearkats' 56-43 triumph over Southland Conference rival McNeese. He caught 12 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns, which went for 52, 11 and 35 yards. His receiving yards set both school and Southland records.
Honorable Mention: T.J. Bell, QB, Savannah State; Brian Cavicante, LB, Delaware State; Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois; A.J. Hines, RB, Duquesne; Torrey Hunt, CB, North Dakota; Darron Johnson, LB, Alabama State; Davis Neilands, DE, Gardner-Webb; Steven Newbold, WR, Tennessee State; Ryan Lee, QB, Coastal Carolina; Shane Simpson, RB/RS, Towson.