KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Keondrick Daniels of Union (Ky.) has been named the NAIA National Football Special Teams Player of the Week, Joel Nixon of Morningside (Iowa) has been tabbed the National Football Offensive Player of the Week and Paramore Tapa of Faulkner (Ala.) received National Football Defensive Player of the Week honors, the national office announced Monday. Daniels, Nixon and Tapa were chosen for their performances during the week of Oct. 8 - 14 and were selected out of a poll of conference and independent award winners.
Daniels, a wide receiver from Tallahassee, Fla., became the first player in Union football history to return a punt and kickoff for a touchdown in the same game in the Bulldog's 51-48 loss against Bethel (Tenn.). The freshman's 79-yard punt return late in the first quarter opened the high-scoring affair. Daniels second score, an 83-yard kickoff return, came early in the second quarter to give Union a 21-14 lead. For the game, Daniels averaged 40.5 yards per kickoff return and 40 yards per punt return.
On the season, Daniels' ranks fourth in the NAIA in total punt return yards (194), seventh in kickoff return yards per attempt (29.5) and ninth in punt return yards per attempt (13.9).
Nixon, a native of Wakefield, Neb., led the Mustangs to a 63-7 thrashing of then-No. 19 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) on Saturday. The senior quarterback completed 20-of-28 passes for a career-high 395 yards and five touchdowns. Nixon, who accounted for 435 of Morningside's 644 yards of total offense, also ran for 40 yards on eight attempts. His passing performance is the eighth highest single-game total in Morningside history and marks his third 300-yard game this season.
Nixon ranks amongst the top 11 nationally in pass efficiency (174.2), total offense per game (322.2), passing yards per game (271.2), total offense (1,933) and total passing (1,627). He is the third Morningside football player to earn a national weekly honor this season.
Tapa, a senior defensive lineman from Compton, Calif., led a defensive effort that held a potent then-No. 16 Cumberland (Tenn.) offense to 14 points in Faulkner's 42-14 upset win. He logged a season and game high 11 tackles, including 2.5 tackles-for-loss and 1.5 sacks. Additionally, Tapa forced a fumble that gave the Eagle offense a first-and-goal on the Cumberland 1-yard line. Faulkner scored on the ensuing play to take a 21-14 lead.
Tapa is the team leader with 10.0 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.
For a complete listing of all the national statistical leaders, click here.
For the complete NAIA Player of the Week calendar, click here. The next NAIA National Football Players of the Week will be announced on Oct. 22.
Offensive Nominees: Brandon Large, Dakota State (S.D.); Austin Dodge, Southern Oregon; Neal Pawsat, Georgetown (Ky.); Bryan Smith, Waldorf (Iowa); Jordan Barrett, Southwestern (Kan.); Tevin Lake, Marian (Ind.); Dan Mervos, Ave Maria (Fla.); Anthony Campuzano, Wayland Baptist (Texas); Zavier Steward, Missouri Valley.
Defensive Nominees: Josh Leff, Southern Oregon; Charlmers Oscar, St. Francis (Ill.); Javarius Harris-Flowers, Southwestern (Kan.); Denzel Billy, Evangel (Mo.); Demetri Oliver, Marian (Ind.); Seth Wardyn, Nebraska Wesleyan; Nate Keller, Webber International (Fla.); Gage Hayes, Ave Maria (Fla.).
Special Teams Nominees: Andrew Muzljakovich, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Stephen Swillum, Evangel (Mo.); Travis Adamson, Ottawa (Kan.); Derek Blessing, Concordia (Neb.); Mike Josifovski, Marian (Ind.); Kedrick Starr, Eastern Oregon; Mason Prater, Webber International (Fla.); Nick Falkiewicz, Ave Maria (Fla.).
2012 Football Players of the Week (complete schedule)
Week 1 (Sept. 3):
Offense: Davis Bloemendaal, Northwestern (Iowa)
Defense: Howard McDonald, Eastern Oregon
Special Teams: Jordan Delbaugh, Nebraska Wesleyan
Week 2 (Sept. 10):
Offense: Bryce Baker, Rocky Mountain (Mont.)
Defense: Dexter Davis, Friends (Kan.)
Special Teams: Ty Littzen, Morningside (Iowa)
Week 3 (Sept. 17):
Offense: Shane Gimzo, Ottawa (Kan.)
Defense: Zach Dolph, Saint Xavier (Ill.)
Special Teams: James Bryan, Belhaven (Miss.)
Week 4 (Sept. 24):
Offense: Derek Lear, Montana State-Northern
Defense: Marcus Carter, Friends (Kan.)
Special Teams: James Loydd, Waldorf (Iowa)
Week 5 (Oct. 1):
Offense: John Dostal, Hastings (Neb.)
Defense: Marc Porras, Kansas Wesleyan
Special Teams: Casey Clarke, Campbellsville (Ky.)
Week 6 (Oct. 8):
Offense: Austin Dodge, Southern Oregon
Defense: Dewaun Harrison, Cumberlands (Ky.)
Special Teams: Cole Boger, Morningside (Iowa)
Week 7 (Oct. 15):
Offense: Joel Nixon, Morningside (Iowa)
Defense: Paramore Tapa, Faulkner (Ala.)
Special Teams: Keondrick Daniels, Union (Ky.)