September 04, 2017

(STATS) - Liberty quarterback Stephen Calvert's middle name is Buckshot because his father Steve was a fan of former NASCAR driver Buckshot Jones, and he wanted his son's name to stand out.

Years later, Stephen Calvert's football talent is even more noticeable.

Calvert, Tennessee State's Chris Collins and Howard's Caylin Newton, whose teams defeated FBS opponents, as well as South Dakota's Brady Schutt were the best of the best to open the 2017 season.

On Monday, the quartet was named the STATS FCS National Players of the Week for games through Sept. 3.

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NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK=

Stephen Calvert, Liberty, QB, So., 6-2, 180, Plantation, Florida

Liberty ruined new Baylor coach Matt Rhule's debut with a surprising upset behind Calvert. He set Liberty single-game records for completions (47), attempts (60) and passing yards (447), and accounted for four touchdowns. The Flames went ahead for good 34-31 on Calvert's 13-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gandy Golden with 24 seconds left in the third quarter. Calvert then rushed for an 8-yard touchdown and threw his third and final touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Honorable Mention: Eugene Bethea, RB, Southeastern Louisiana; Jeremiah Briscoe, QB, Sam Houston State; Keelan Doss, WR, UC Davis; Kevin Duke, QB, Sacred Heart; Cardon Johnson, RB, James Madison; Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond; Brad Mayes, QB, Lehigh; Lawson Page, QB, Morehead State; Chris Streveler, QB, South Dakota; Roc Thomas, RB, Jacksonville State

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NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK=

Chris Collins, Tennessee State, LB, Sr. 5-11, 230, Fairburn, Georgia

Collins was continually in the right place at the right time as his Ohio Valley Conference team defeated Georgia State 17-10 for its first win over an FBS opponent. He recorded 12 tackles, including nine solos, with three tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. With Georgia State driving on its first series, Collins knocked the ball loose in the backfield and his team recovered the ball on its 25-yard line. Even bigger in the third quarter, he stopped a GSU running back for no gain on 4th-and-1 at TSU's 4 as the Tigers protected a 10-3 lead.

Honorable Mention: Ryan Brady, LB, Holy Cross; Beau Duronselt, LB, Portland State; Montavious Gaines, Rover, Southern; Brandon Griffin, LB, Morgan State; Quentin Moon, LB, Western Illinois; Emmanuel Olenga. DE, Campbell; Malik Rivera, S, Wofford

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NATIONAL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK=

Brady Schutt, South Dakota, P, R-Fr., 6-1, 205, Orange City, Iowa

Punting is about placement as much as distance, and Schutt was basically perfect in his collegiate debut as South Dakota hammered Drake 77-7. Schutt, who's replacing the 2016 STATS FCS All-America first-team punter Miles Bergner, pinned all four of his punts inside the 20 at the Drake 3-, 14-, 16- and 18-yard lines, averaging 38.5 yards. Drake threw interceptions, including a pick-six, on two of the four ensuing possessions.

Honorable Mention: Nick Bisceglia, PK, Robert Morris; Khris Gardin, KR, North Carolina A&T; Alex Probert, PK, Liberty; Colin Root, PK, Northern Colorado

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NATIONAL FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK=

Caylin Newton, Howard, QB, Fr., 5-11, 185, Atlanta

Maybe someday they'll refer to Cam Newton as Caylin Newton's older brother. The younger sibling's career is off to an incredible start considering Howard stunned UNLV 43-40 in the biggest point-spread upset (45.5 points) in college football history. Newton accounted for 330 total yards and three touchdowns. He rushed for 190 yards on 21 carries and completed 15 of 26 passes for 140 yards with one interception. He capped the game's first drive with a 52-yard touchdown run, passed for a 1-yard score in the second quarter and scored the game-winning touchdown on a 4-yard option keeper midway through the fourth quarter. "Before the game, we said if you don't think we're going to win the game, don't come," he said on ESPN Monday morning.

Honorable Mention: Bryson Armstrong, LB, Kennesaw State; Bryce Carter, DE, Towson; Wesley Dugger, RB, Davidson; Pete Guerriero, RB, Monmouth; Torrance Marable, RB, Presbyterian; Kaelan Riley, QB, Mercer; Vincent Sellers, LB, Tennessee State; Joe Zema, P, Incarnate Word

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