Philadelphia, PA – The nation's best.
Prairie View A&M quarterback De'Auntre Smiley, Central Connecticut State running back Rob Hollomon, Portland State linebacker Ian Sluss, Tennessee State place-kicker/punter Jamin Godfrey and Montana State left tackle John Weidenaar have been named The Sports Network FCS National Players of the Week 9 for games ending Oct. 27.
CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
De'Auntre Smiley, Prairie View A&M, Sophomore, 6-2, 205, QB, Lufkin, Texas
Smiley put his team on his back in a 49-29 offensive showcase versus Southern University. The sophomore threw for four touchdowns, completing 29-of-38 passes for 398 yards, and carried the ball 14 times for 170 yards and one touchdown. Offensively, the Panthers finished with 645 yards (398 passing, 247 rushing) as Smiley guided the Panthers over the 500-yard mark for the third straight week. Although it was only Prairie View's third win of the season, it moved the Panthers into second place in the SWAC's West Division. The lefty sophomore capped off his career performance with a 62-yard touchdown run with 3:07 left in the contest.
Rob Hollomon, Central Connecticut State, Sophomore, 5-7, 170, RB, Philadelphia, PA
Hollomon followed a 208-yard Week 8 rushing performance just about as well as any running back could. The sophomore totaled 287 yards from scrimmage, including 207 yards on the ground, in a 32-30, come-from-behind victory over Saint Francis (Pa.). The Kent State transfer carried the ball 24 times, added two receptions for 80 yards and finished with three touchdowns in the win. Hollomon not only owns the top two individual rushing performances in Northeast Conference play this season, but he also joins the company of former CCSU running back Justise Hairston (2006) as the lone players to eclipse the 200-yard rushing mark in back-to-back NEC games. In all, the sophomore averaged 11 yards every time he touched the ball, while his long runs of 49 and 45 yards turned a 20-9 deficit into a 22-20 lead.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ian Sluss, Portland State, Senior, 6-0, 225, LB, Vista, Calif.
Sluss was a one-man wrecking machine in a decisive, 49-21 victory over UC Davis in the Big Sky Conference. The senior finished the contest with two interceptions - one of which he returned 31 yards for a touchdown with 5:32 left in regulation - two fumble recoveries, six tackles (five solo) and two passes defended in the win. In the fourth quarter, Sluss did most of his damage, recovering two fumbles and intercepting two passes. With PSU holding a 35-21 lead in the quarter, the senior intercepted UC Davis quarterback Randy Wright for a touchdown which put the Vikings in control of the game. It marked the third straight contest that he has scored a defensive touchdown. The senior also helped limit UC Davis to just 104 rushing yards as the Vikings improved to 3-5.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jamin Godfrey, Tennessee State, Junior, 6-0, 190, PK/P, Englewood, Tenn.
Godfrey was arguably the key component for Tennessee State in its thrilling, 22-21 victory over rival Tennessee Tech in the Ohio Valley Conference. He was a perfect 5-of-5 on field goal attempts, which set a new career high and school record as well as tied the 2012 single-game FCS high. The junior connected from 37, 32, 27, 41 and 22 yards and punted four times for an average of 36 yards. Ironically, Godfrey's 15 points kept the No. 21-ranked Tigers alive in the contest before his team scored a touchdown with no time remaining to tie the game at 21. His biggest kick of the game was also the deciding factor, as he nailed the extra point attempt to give TSU the win and an 8-1 record on the season.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
John Weidenaar, Montana State, Freshman, 6-7, 267, LT, Manhattan, MT
Very rarely do offensive linemen garner individual attention for their performances, let alone a freshman, but Weidenaar helped anchor an impressive offensive output in Montana State's 55-10 victory over North Dakota. The local product played a crucial role in protecting and paving the way the way for MSU's dangerous playmakers. Weidenarr, who has started every game this season, helped the Bobcats rush for 436 yards and total a school-record 695 yards of offense. His unit didn't allow a sack in the game, while running backs Cody Kirk and Orenzo Davis topped the 100-yard rushing plateau, gaining 160 and 145 yards, respectively.